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CONTENTS

EDITORS NOTE

TESOL Journal
Vol. 7, No. 1
Autumn 1997

Reaching All Learners: Endless Possibilities for Teacher Growth


Linda New Levine and Nancy Cloud, Guest Editors 5

ARTICLES
Valuing Diversity: Action Researching Disparate Learner Groups
Collaborative action research helped Australian adult education teachers refine their classroom skills
and reflect critically on their current practice.
Anne Burns 6
EFL Teacher Development Through Critical Reflection
An innovative second language teacher education project for EFL teachers from Egypt yielded rich
and lasting collaboration.
La D. Kamhi-Stein and Jos L. Galvn 12
Professional Development Schools: A Balanced Wheel Makes it Better for Everyone
A team of elementary school and university educators worked together to foster culturally responsible
pedagogy, inspire reflective practice, and enhance student performance.
Peggy J. Anderson 19
A Critical Examination of Classroom Practices to Foster Teacher Growth and Increase Student
Learning
Staff from a British university worked with mainstream subject teachers in a local secondary school to
investigate classroom practice and develop effective teaching strategies.
Lynne J. Cameron 25
Collaboration, Reflection, and Professional Growth: A Mentoring Program for Adult ESL
Teachers
Adult education ESL teachers in a World Relief Refugee Services program worked with mentors to
cultivate valuable professional habits.
Alan Seaman, Barry Sweeny, Pamela Meadows, and Marilyn Sweeny 31
School-University Partnerships to Promote Science With Students Learning English
Elementary school teachers and students who shared the same language and culture fostered effective
science instruction.
Sandra H. Fradd, Okhee Lee, Pete Cabrera, Vivian del Rio, Amelia Leth, Rita Morin, Marisela
Ceballos, Maria Santalla, Lucille Cross, Techeline Mathieu 35

TIPS FROM THE CLASSROOM


Enhancing Teaching and Teacher Education With Peer Coaching Teresa Benedetti 41
Peer Conversations for Teacher Development Yvonne De Gaetano 42
Collegial Sharing Through Poster Sessions Ruth Weinstein-McShane 43
How to Use Cultural Brokers in Educational Settings Doris Pez and Laurie McCarty 44
The Role of Picture Books Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala and Jeffrey P. Bakken 46

REVIEWS
Thirty Years of Becoming a Teacher: A Readers Rainbow
Teacher Sylvia Ashton-Warner
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou
Wishes, Lies, and Dreams Kenneth Koch
White Teacher Vivian Paley
Children of War Roger Rosenblatt
My Place Sally Morgan
The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros
Reviewed by Mary Lou McCloskey 48
Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching Sandra Lee McKay and Nancy H. Hornberger
Reviewed by Jette Gjaldbaek Hansen 51
Teach English: A Training Course for Teachers Adrian Doff
New Ways in Teacher Education Donald Freeman with Steve Cornwell
Reviewed by Timothy Micek 52

A S K T H E TJ
Readers Advice on supporting part-time faculty 54
A Question for Readers on unbiased employment notices 55

DEPARTMENTS
Guidelines for Contributors 3
Membership Application 56
Cover design by Ann Kammerer.

TESOLs mission is to
develop the
T E S O L
expertise of
its members
and
others
Founded 1966
involved
in
teaching English to
speakers of other languages to
help them foster effective communication in diverse settings
while respecting individuals language rights.
TESOL Journal (ISSN 10567941), Vol. 7, No. 1, is printed on
recycled stock. Published quarter

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Summer by Teachers of English
to Speakers of Other Languages,
Inc., 1600 Cameron Street,
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E-mail tesol@tesol.edu. Advertising arranged by Ann Perrelli at
the above address.
All material in TESOL Journal
is copyrighted 1997 by Teachers
of English to Speakers of Other
Languages, Inc. Copying without
the permission of TESOL, beyond
the exemptions specified by law, is

JOURNAL

TESOL

an infringment involving liability


for damages.
You can respond to the ideas in
TESOL Journal by writing directly
to the editors and staff at
tj@tesol.edu. This is a read only
service.
You can find out more about
TESOL services and publications
by accessing the TESOL web site
at http://www.tesol.edu.
TESOL publications are available only to members of the association. Membership information
appears on page 56.

Editor
CHRISTIAN J. FALTIS
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA

Associate Editors
REBECCA CONSTANTINO
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA USA
LUCINDA PEASE-ALVAREZ
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA USA

Tips from the


Classroom Editor
BRIDGET GERSTEN
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA

Reviews Editor
JILL BURTON
University of South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

Ask the TJ Editor


CHRIS BOOSALIS
Thunderbird
Glendale, AZ USA

Managing Editor
Editorial Advisory Board
Nancy Cloud
Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY USA
Debra Deane
University of Akron
Akron, OH USA
Robert A. DeVillar
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA USA
Christopher Ely
Ball State University
Muncie, IN USA
Sandra H. Fradd
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL USA
Linda Harklau
University of Georgia
Athens, GA USA
Ana Huerta-Macas
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM USA
Sarah Hudelson
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA
Linda New Levine
Mt. Kisco Elementary School
Mt. Kisco, NY USA
John Milon
University of Nevada
Reno, Nevada USA
Jeff McQuillan
California State University, Fullerton
Fullerton, CA USA

John Murphy
Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA USA
Joy Kreeft Peyton
Center for Applied Linguistics
Washington, DC USA
Ellen Riojas Clark
University of Texas
San Antonio, TX USA
Linda Schinke-Llano
Millikin University
Decatur, IL USA
Salina Shrofel
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Ann Snow
California State University, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA USA
Toshiko Sugino
The National Defense Academy
Yakosuka, Japan
Keiko Tanaka
California State University, Hayward
Hayward, CA USA
Marjorie Terdal
Portland State University
Portland, OR USA
Joan Wink
California State University, Stanislaus
Turlock, CA USA

MARILYN KUPETZ
TESOL Central Office
Alexandria, VA USA

Assistants to the
Editor
LESLIE POYNER and
PAULA WOLFE
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ USA

Credits
Director of
Communications
and Marketing:
Advertising:
Graphic Design:
Printing:

Helen Kornblum
TESOL Central Office
Ann Perrelli
TESOL Central Office
Sharon Henry
Hedgesville, WV
Pantagraph Printing
Bloomington, IL

Guidelines for Contributors


TESOL Journal, a refereed publication
of teaching and classroom research, is
looking for submissions on matters related
to children, adolescents, and adults who
are learning English as an additional language. Appropriate topics include, but are
not limited to, classroom inquiry and
research, teacher preparation, literacy/
biliteracy, curriculum and policy issues,
and methodology.
TESOL Journal welcomes any of the
following types of submissions.

Feature Articles
A feature article should be 1,000-3,000
words and should:
1. analyze, present, or discuss novel ESOL
methodology, curriculum materials and
design, teacher education, and classroom
inquiry and research in terms accessible
to classroom teachers. You should connect your inquiry and research to theoretical principles; heavy referencing,
however, is discouraged.

diverse programs or teaching situations.


Submissions should not be recounted in
the manner of a diary, but rather as a set of
guidelines for successful implementation. Tips might include the following
information: appropriate levels, objectives, approximate class time and preparation time required, necessary materials,
implementation procedure, and any
caveats or alternatives to the recommended procedure. Submissions should be
250-800 words.
Send your submissions to Bridget
Gersten, Editor, Tips from the Classroom,
TESOL Journal, College of Education,
Box 871411, Arizona State University,
Tempe, Arizona 85287-1411 USA.

Readers Respond
Readers Respond offers you a forum to
comment on or react to any article, perspective, or tip from previous issues.
Submissions should not exceed 500
words.

Ask the TJ
Ask the TJ responds to questions submitted by readers to TESOL Journal on
matters relating to teaching and classroom
research. Responses should not exceed
100 words.
Send your questions or responses to
Chris Boosalis, Editor, Ask the TJ,
Thunderbird, American Graduate School
of International Management, Department
of Modern Languages, 15249 North 59th
Avenue, Glendale, Arizona 85306-6012
USA.

Guidelines
Your submission must be a
previously unpublished manuscript and
should conform to the following
format.
1. Three copies of each submission; all
references to the authors identity
deleted.
2. Typed, double-spaced, with 1 margins
on top, bottom, and sides of each page.

We urge you to send copies of student artwork, writing samples, or sample exercises
as well as photographs to illustrate all submissions.

2. discuss and reflect upon research findings that are applicable to classrooms
in which there are ESL/EFL learners.
3. encourage practitioners to engage in
their own reflective practice and classroom research on connections between
oral and written language during language and content learning.
Send your submissions to Christian J.
Faltis, Editor, TESOL Journal, at the
address listed below.

Perspectives
A perspective submission should present your views on ESOL-related
sociopolitical and professional concerns
around the world. You should present a
cogent argument for your views but with
only a limited number of references. Perspectives should be 300-800 words.
Send your submissions to Christian J.
Faltis, Editor, TESOL Journal, at the
address listed below.

Tips from the Classroom


Tips from the Classroom briefly
recount successful ESOL techniques,
activities, or methods in such a way that
they could be adapted by teachers in

Send your submissions to Christian J.


Faltis, Editor, TESOL Journal, at the
address listed below.

Reviews
Reviews should evaluate recently published ESOL classroom materials such as
textbooks, curriculum guides, computer
programs, or videos. Reviews should be
between 500 and 750 words.
In the body of the review, include
1. a brief summary of important features
of the material (without commentary)
2. an evaluation of these features, with
the merits/demerits of the material
3. a discussion of any wider ESOL pedagogical issues in the material
4. possibly a discussion relating the
review materials to ESOL methodology, theory, or current trends
5. an explanation as to why the teacherreader would want to use the material
(or not)
Send your submissions to Jill
Burton, School of Education, University
of South Australia, Underdale Campus,
GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia
5001.

3. Copies, not the originals, of student artwork and/or black and white photographs. Originals will be requested if
the submission is accepted.
4. Source citations according to APA
(American Psychological Association)
guidelines.
5. A biographical statement of up to 50
words for each author, including the
name and address to which correspondence may be sent. A telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address are
also requested.
Submissions of feature articles, perspectives, tips, and reviews will be acknowledged within 1 month of their receipt.
TESOL Journal retains the right to
edit all manuscripts that are accepted for
publication.
General inquiries regarding TESOL
Journal should be sent to:
Christian J. Faltis
College of Education, Box 871411
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona 85287-1411 USA,
Fax 602-965-5477
e-mail cfaltis@asu.edu

Special Issue:

Immigrant Students in Secondary


Schools: Creating Structures That
Promote Achievement

Coeditors: Joy Kreeft Peyton and Carolyn Temple Adger

The Autumn 1998 special issue of TESOL Journal will focus on improving programs in secondary
schools so that immigrant students (in some countries called migrant students) throughout the
world can excel and gain access to challenging postsecondary education and work. We
welcome submissions related to all aspects of this unexplored and challenging topic, including
those from educators who are working or have worked outside the United States. Some
possible topics of interest follow.
WORKING WITH DIVERSE
STUDENT POPULATIONS
those with age-appropriate schooling
and content knowledge but limited
proficiency in English
those with limited or interrupted prior
schooling, who are behind their sameage peers in content knowledge
those with low literacy skills
those not placed in an ESL/ELT
program, but who are not yet fully
English proficient

DEVELOPING COURSES AND


MAKING THEM ACCESSIBLE
creating and maintaining literacy and
sheltered content courses
establishing a sequence of challenging,
credit-bearing courses that enable
immigrant students to progress to
graduation
making specialized courses, such as
Gifted and Talented courses and
Career Academies, available to
students learning English

CREATING COMPREHENSIVE
PROGRAMS
structures to support students
throughout their time in the school
and beyondfrom intake, through the
course sequence, after exiting the
ESL/ELT/second language sequence,
from middle school to high school, and
after graduation to further education
and careers
extracurricular activities that meet the
needs and interests of English language
learners unfamiliar with the school
culture
structures that benefit all students,
while facilitating immigrant students
learning
nonacademic support systems

CREATING PARTNERSHIPS
linkages with local universities,
community groups, and businesses

DETERMINING POLICY
INFLUENCES (NATIONAL,
STATE/PROVINCIAL, LOCAL)
ON SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND
CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION
FOR IMMIGRANT STUDENTS
standards
assessments and graduation
requirements

PROMOTING PROFESSIONAL
DEVELOPMENT
in-service programs for teachers and
administrators on working with
immigrant students
structures in which teachers consider
school and district data in making
program and instructional decisions

Contributions may take the form of articles, tips from the classroom, perspectives, and reviews
on any of these topics or others that fit the theme of this special issue.

The deadline for submissions is


January 2, 1998.
Send inquiries and material to Joy Kreeft Peyton, Center for Applied Linguistics, 1118 22nd St.
NW, Washington, DC 20037 USA. Queries only to joy@cal.org

Reaching All Learners: Endless Possibilities


for Teacher Growth
Linda New Levine and Nancy Cloud, Guest Editors

All of us must cross the line between


ignorance and insight many times
before we truly understand. Not only
must we cross that line many times, but,
in the words of the old spiritual,
nobody can cross it for us, we must
cross it by ourselves.
John Holt (1967, p. 132)
Our classrooms offer us unparalleled
opportunities for learning. As new and different learners cross our thresholds each year,
they challenge us to develop the skills, competencies, and attitudes necessary to promote
successful learning experiences.
As co-editors of this special issue dedicated to professional development, we could
not help but reflect on the multiple roles we
ourselves have played in education, roles that
have contributed to our own professional
growth. We have been first and second language learners, parents, teachers, administrators, curriculum and staff developers, grant
authors, and cultural brokers to a wide variety
of learner groups. We have taught children,
adults, and TESOL educators both within and
outside of English-speaking countries. We
have taught in jungles and suburbs, in hotels
and huts, in elementary schools and universities. Every time we have taken on a new role,
taught in a new setting, implemented a new
curriculum or a new program structure,
demonstrated a lesson or made instructional
recommendations for an individual child, we
have increased our own repertoire of skills
and competencies. The unmet learning needs
of our students raised the bar for us, telling us
there was still more to learn, to do, to be as
professionals. When we have had the opportunity to work with learners with unfamiliar
characteristicsbe they cultural, linguistic, or
learningwe have captured that moment of
possibility that keeps life fresh, that makes us
aware that learning is endless if we reach out.
So, too, it was with the construction of this
special issue. By reaching out to other professionals, we had the opportunity to experience
vicariously their processes of professional
growth; to understand the situations that

required them to change and grow; to become


aware of the mechanisms that allowed them
to respond to their unique situations and the
personal benefits they derived from their
efforts.
Pre- and in-service teacher development,
action research in classrooms, collaboration,
collegial sharing, networking, and partnerships of all kinds are making this growth process far less lonely. No longer under the
illusion that we are in it alone, we are sure
that we are in it together. We hope the sharing
that this issue brings will allow you to consider other avenues for nurturing yourself,
those with whom you work most closely, and
those with whom you have never worked, but
could.
The impetus for our professional growth is
often a problem. Something is not working.
Something is not happening as we had
planned. We are frustrated and eager to
search for a solution. This juxtaposition of
awesome challenge and satisfying reward is
at the heart of the learning process. We
believe that, for teachers, as John Holt (1969)
observed for students, True learninglearning that is permanent and useful, that leads to
intelligent action and further learningcan
arise only out of the experiences, interests,
and concerns of the learner (p. 3). And so we
struggle to make changes in our assumptions
and techniques. We observe, reflect, and
thoughtfully experiment.
Thus the fundamental premise of this special issue is that by attempting to reach all
learners, teachers can find endless possibilities for their own growth as professionals. In
each section of this special issue, you will
find evidence of professional growth processes, processes that have been experienced
or facilitated by our contributors.
Anne Burns reports on an action research
project for teachers of an immigrant population in Australia.
La Kamhi-Stein and Jos Galvn share a
range of state-of-the-art teacher development techniques they designed for visiting
Egyptian secondary EFL teachers. Hosted

by the authors university, the teachers


reflect critically on their teaching practices
with large classes in relation to current
best practices.
Peggy Anderson chronicles the establishment of a professional development school
(PDS) in a foreign language magnet elementary school and the possibilities for
growth it engendered for all participant
groups: elementary students, pre- and inservice teachers, administrators, and
teacher educators.
Lynne Cameron recounts a collaborative
onsite action research program based in a
British secondary school and conducted by
university staff. The program investigated
the beliefs and classroom practices of
mainstream teachers in order to engage in
responsive in-service education and
address teacher concerns while increasing
student performance.
Alan Seaman, Barry Sweeny, Pamela
Meadows, and Marilyn Sweeny describe a
collaborative effort among a group of educators designed to promote professional
growth for the teachers of an adult ESL
program in Illinois.
Sandra H. Fradd, Okhee Lee, Pete
Cabrera, Vivian del Rio, Amelia Leth, Rita
Morin, Marisela Ceballos, Maria Santalla,
Lucille Cross, and Techeline Mathieu
worked together to promote repertoirebuilding among 4th-grade teachers of science to language learning youngsters in
Florida.
The challenges of the future will be no less
than those of the past. We will cross back and
forth across the line of ignorance and insight
many times. With each crossing, we will
transform our students and ourselves and
experience the powerful possibilities inherent
in the learning experience.

References
Holt, J. (1969). The under-achieving
school. New York: Dell.
Holt, J. (1967). How children learn. New
York: Dell.
Autumn 1997

Valuing Diversity: Action


Researching Disparate
Learner Groups
Anne Burns

am McPherson is a teacher from


the Australian Adult Migrant 1
English Program (AMEP). She was
recently involved in a national action
research project that included 28 ESL
teachers from four different states in
Australia. Below is part of what she wrote
about her action research:
My group was diverse in all the ways
that make Adult Migrant English
Service classes so interesting to teach.
Ages ranged from 22-58 with equal
numbers of males and females. They
came from 15 different countries and
spoke 17 different languages. Most had
come to Australia because their country
of origin was now unsafe for them ....
My concern was with the wide variation in the levels of spoken and written
English .... I was uncertain how to manage the class and felt that my planning
was very hit and miss .... I decided to
read the literature on managing disparate learner groups and to talk to
teachers in AMES and in community
organisations and school education
about strategies they used ....
As a result, I decided to focus on developing materials and activities at different levels and to observe the responses
of the learners to these materials. I documented these observations and began
to realize how much I tended to control

6 TESOL JOURNAL

their learning by dispersing materials at


appropriate levels. When I allowed the
students to take control, they worked
with them in different ways that they
found personally effective.
However, at this point I became concerned about another aspect of the
class. I observed that the students
would not cooperate to undertake joint
activities. They were also starting to
express exasperation, boredom, irritation, and, once, near hostility, as I
brought to the classroom lessons and
activities I thought were interesting and
relevant, but that they were not prepared to participate in ....
I decided on a strategy of individual
consultation. I spoke to each student
about what they were learning, how
they were learning and how they could
develop their skills. I documented their
comments and followed with activities
designed to enhance their requested
learning areas. I also documented comments on their reactions to my classroom activities ....
I began to see emerging patterns and to
uncover the reasons for the rejected
activities. Student comments and reactions indicated that discussions that
revolved around cultural or social difference were not acceptable .... On a
class excursion, I learned that the stu-

dents were aware of deep ethnic, religious, and political differences because
of their experiences of the part of the
world they had just left .... I suddenly
realised how difficult it had been for
them to maintain the veneer of courtesy
and civility when I was introducing
activities that demanded that they
expose and discuss the differences they
were attempting to ignore!
(McPherson, 1997a, pp. 26-30)

Setting
I have culled from McPhersons report at
some length because it illustrates some of the
key issues and themes about the teaching of
diverse student classes that emerged in the
project. These themes had to do as much with
the diversity of learner characteristics; political, cultural, and social factors; learning
needs; teaching and learning strategies; materials; and resources inherent in disparate
learner classrooms as with the role of collaborative action research in offering opportunities for professional growth in teaching these
groups.
The project was coordinated by myself
and a fellow researcher, Susan Hood, through
the National Centre for English Language
Teaching and Research (NCELTR). Teaching
disparate learner groups emerged nationally
as a priority research area for the AMEP in
1995. The term disparate is commonly used

by teachers in the AMEP to refer to the


diversity of needs, skills, and backgrounds
that are well recognized as characterizing
immigrant learner groups. However, because
of changes in government policy, immigration patterns, funding arrangements, curriculum, and program delivery, teachers were

At the beginning of the project,


the teachers general consensus
was that these groups were
problematic and difficult to
teachsome of the teachers had
even joked that they were
disparate, desperate teachers!

increasingly confronted with more heterogeneous learner groups than they had ever
encountered previously (see Burns, 1996;
Burns & Hood, 1997). In some instances, for
example, classrooms were no longer ESL
only, but involved catering for students from
both non-English- and English-speaking
backgrounds.
One of the first tasks in each action
research group was to document what the
teachers saw as the characteristics of the
diverse learner groups they were now teaching. Some teachers chose to involve their colleagues in gathering this data. Their
responses indicated the need to take into
account many personal factors in addition to
the students language proficiency levels.
These factors included:
level of previous education
experiences of formal and informal language learning
literacy experiences and abilities in first
language
length of residence in Australia, which
affected knowledge of cultural and social
systems
religion
gender
age
physical disabilities, such as hearing or
sight impairment or workplace injuries
recent unemployment and family relationship problems
There were also features connected with
learning expectations and experiences, such
as
preferred learning pace and style
expectations about the course
cultural values and attitudes toward learning
goals and interests for language learning

confidence and motivation


contact with English outside the classroom

Steps in the Research


The participating teachers from each of
the states formed themselves into four collaborative action research groups to investigate
the general research theme from more specific perspectives, according to the concerns
and interests they felt were most relevant to
their own classrooms. The areas for research
that emerged from their initial discussions
covered the following kinds of questions:
What cultural, social, or affective factors
seem to affect my students learning?
What teaching strategies can I develop to
cater for different needs and skills?
How can I encourage my students to
develop independent learning strategies?
What are my students perceptions about
being in a disparate learner group?
What classroom management and grouping arrangements will assist me to cater
for my students needs?
How do classroom dynamics affect my
students ability to learn?
What strategies will assist my students to
develop specific skill areas, such as writing or grammar?
In each group, teacher-researchers monitored activities though an action research
cycle that involved refining the research
issues, data collection, reflection, action,
problem posing and solving, classroom
exploration, and data interpretation (see
Burns & Hood, 1995; Kemmis & McTaggart,
1988). In order to maintain collaboration not
only within each group but also from group
to group within each state, local professional
development staff provided support and coordination. The local coordinators were put in
touch with each other and were in continual
contact with us as the national coordinators.
We also reported regularly from group to
group on emerging issues, findings, strategies, and data as we visited each state. Each
teacher conducted the research during a 6month period that was interspersed with a
series of collaborative workshops and discussions. Between workshops, the teachers tried
out different approaches and teaching materials, observed their learners, and documented
their observations. Thus, there was a constant
movement back and forth between the sharing of ideas, and reflection and action in the
classroom. A representation of the process
that was adopted by each group during a 6month period appears on page 8 (see The
Timeframe and Structure of the Project).

Findings
Because of the collaborative nature of the
research, the project brought out a rich complex of collective themes as well as individual findings. One of the first major themes to
emerge from the data was that there was a
mismatch between teachers and learners
assumptions about disparate groups. At the
beginning of the project, the teachers general consensus was that these groups were
problematic and difficult to teachsome
of the teachers had even joked that they were
disparate, desperate teachers!
When interviewed, learners gave a different picture. First, they did not label themselves as disparate; second, they often liked
having a wide range of language proficiencies in the class; and third, they saw differences in personality, skills, and experiences
as positive. In an early workshop, Linda
Ross, one of the New South Wales teachers,
described her surprise at this finding:
Ive been documenting how the students feel about [the fact that they are
at such different levels] and how to
manage that timewise. And that happened to come up casually, because the
day after we had [the first workshop]
we went on an excursion to Sydney.
And just on the train I was chatting to
them and they said that it didnt worry
them that other learners were slower or
faster. They just wanted to get on with
things and they said Dont worry
about us, well call you if we need
you. I was very relieved when I heard
this because Id been feeling so guilty
that I couldnt get round to them all.
(Ross, 1997, personal communication)

When interviewed, learners gave


a different picture. First, they did
not label themselves as disparate;
second, they often liked having a
wide range of language
proficiencies in the class; and
third, they saw differences in
personality, skills, and
experiences as positive.

By the end of the project, almost all teachers had shifted from seeing the deficit concepts they had held at the beginning to seeing
diverse groups as rich sources of different
skills, experiences, personalities, and
resources.
Cultural, social, and affective factors are
an important consideration in any second lanAutumn 1997

The Timeframe and Structure


of the Project

Event/Process

Timeframe

Purpose

Workshop 1

1 day

Introducing research context and model


Discussing issues
Focusing research and data collection techniques

Research

Approximately 3
weeks

Reflecting
Collecting and documenting data
Clarifying focus
Discussing with colleagues

Workshop 2

Half day

Reviewing focus for research and data collection methods


Discussing early reflections

Research

Approximately 4-6
weeks

Collecting data
Reflecting and interpreting
Intervening and collecting more data
Discussing with colleagues

Workshop 3

1 day

Presenting interim report


Discussing each others research
Interpreting, problematizing findings

Research

Approximately 3
weeks

Collecting additional data, to confirm interpretations or identify other issues

Workshop 4

Half day

Planning final written report

Report Writing

Approximately 3
weeks

Drafting final report


Discussing with colleagues

Workshop 5

Half-day seminar

Presenting written reports


Presenting short informal seminar on
research

guage learner group. However, we discovered that in classrooms where there is great
diversity, these factors may have a greater
than usual impact. Teachers identified the
following areas as most strongly affecting
their students learning:
negative motivation and attitudes from
previous learning experiences
experiences of being made unemployed
and remaining unemployed over a long
period of time
medical and legal problems
problems with family relationships
political influences including experiences
of war, torture, and trauma
conflicts arising from ethnic and cultural
differences
When teachers investigated these political
and cultural issues systematically through

8 TESOL JOURNAL

regular observations, discussions, and interviews with their learners, they found they
gained greater insight into the kinds of teaching and learning strategies that would
increase their learners motivation and help
them to learn. For example, Meg Quinn
(1997), from Queensland, who researched
her beginning-level learners perceptions
about improving their writing skills commented:
This study has emphasised to me the
importance of listening to the students
to determine how they feel about learning and the strategies they use to learn.
To teach effectively in a disparate
classroom may require identifying
learning strategies and then incorporating that knowledge into the classroom
activities. (p. 48)

McPhersons classroom situation illustrates also how previous political and cultural
experiences can interact negatively within the
group. She conducted her research through
observing and documenting in a journal how
and why learners were not interacting in her
classroom; as a result she was able to devise
alternative classroom activities as she
describes here:
I eliminated group and pair-work from
my repertoire. All language teaching
was based on whole class work. The
sessions became teacher-centred, with
individual contributions welcomed on
a spontaneous and voluntary basis.
Most of the language activities were
based on games, but there were no
competitive or cooperative activities ...
Over a period of two or three weeks, I
became aware of the lessening of tension in the class. (McPherson, 1997b,
p. 59)
Her research, therefore, resulted in more
positive group dynamics and a classroom
atmosphere that facilitated learning.
Other teachers realized that they had to
overcome the effects of previous very negative educational experiences as well as a lack
of desire to be in class. Lenn de Leon (1997),
who worked closely with Linda Ross in New
South Wales, found herself with a mixed literacy and numeracy class composed of both
native and nonnative English speakers, who
were attending as part of a government labor
market retraining arrangement in order to
obtain unemployment benefits. She discovered that non-language-focused activities,
such as completing out-of-class tasks chosen
by themselves or teaching others a new skill
such as playing a game they knew well,
increased her learners competence and willingness to learn. Nonlanguage outcomes
were to do not so much with improvements
in language proficiency, but perceptible
changes in students confidence, self-esteem,
and motivation, all of which made a difference to their enthusiasm for learning
(Jackson, 1993, 1994).
The research also highlighted the importance of conducting a detailed and continuing
analysis of learners needs. The teachers
began with the assumption that, as they
worked within a learner-centred organizational curriculum, undertaking a language
needs analysis was a part of their regular
practice. However, it became apparent that it
can be very easy to overlook or simplify the
complexity of individual needs and the way
that these needs change during the learning
process. Most teachers agreed by the end of
the project that it was not enough to conduct
a formal written needs survey at the beginning of the course, which focused primarily

on learners language proficiency. This was


too impersonal and did not take into account
how learning needs are also affected by
learners life situations and goals outside the
classroom.
Susanne Air (1997), for example, documented the learning progress of two beginning-level male students, newly arrived in
Queensland. She noted that their previous life
and language learning experiences, their
experiences of migration, their age, their
family support structures in Australia, and
their goals for work, education, and community participation were all instrumental in
shaping their learning responses. The classroom activities she devised need to take this
into account. Marie Muldoon (1997), similarly, conducted in-depth discussions with
her New South Wales learners and developed
detailed profiles of their lives both in and out
of the classroom. She commented:
I dont usually intrude into the students personal lives but these students
saw [personal] issues as directly affecting their learning ability and wanted
me to understand them .... I became
very aware that the students were not
only from diverse backgrounds but [in
some cases] were dealing with very
stressful physical and emotional problems which directly affected their ability to learn and to interact positively
with each other. (p. 18)
Increasingly, many of the teachers also
found themselves becoming much more
aware of the nature of their teaching and on
what basis they selected teaching methods,
techniques, and activities they thought would
work in diverse classes. They highlighted the
importance of a high level of flexibility and
suggested that it was not realistic to adopt a
one-size-fits-all approach to teaching methods
and approaches. They became more relaxed
about changing directions and problem solving their way through their teaching dilemmas
and began to see this viewpoint as a necessary
aspect of decision-making when teaching disparate groups, rather than a sign of individual
weakness or indecision. Chris Pierson (1997),
a teacher from Victoria, stated:
This ... data collection allowed me the
opportunity to compare changes in my
students writing with what I had been
doing in the classroom and attempt to
adjust my strategies in an appropriate
manner .... The data had, then, performed two invaluable services .... In
the first instance, it had indicated common problem areas being experienced
by the group as a whole. Secondly, it
had indicated that the program being
implemented needed to be modified ....
(p. 140)

Teachers suggested that explicitly discussing their teaching approach and the
structure of the course with their learners
for example, their objectives and the reasons
for the kinds of activities they were doing
not only helped them articulate their own
approaches to teaching, but clarified the purpose of classroom learning for their learners.
Finally, establishing positive group
dynamics took on new meanings with diverse
classes. Many teachers realized that they
needed to abandon ideas of achieving neat,
homogeneous classroom subgroups and to
treat the learner group more holistically.
Sometimes, such as in Susan Shaws classroom in Western Australia, activities were
developed (based on Hadfield, 1992) that
asked the learners to address groupness, to
reflect on situations in which they had been
members of a group and to discuss specifically what group membership meant. This
not only improved classroom relationships
but also had a positive effect on language
development as learners felt their efforts
were valued by the group. Susan Shaw
(1997) observed:
There was something different about
this group. There was a feeling of
openness that I had not experienced
before. Moreover ... the students were
prepared to take far more risks with
their language learning. (p. 59)
Different strategies for classroom seating
and grouping arrangements that would
improve dynamics were also explored. Lucy
Valeri (1997), a Queensland-based teacher,
was, in her words, amazed that, when she
let her learners choose their own groupings,
the diversity in the group
actually created more scope for learning and therefore learners became
more outspoken .... I had nothing to do
with how this had eventuated ... and I
wondered if my years of grouping
learners as I had thought appropriate
may not have been in the best interests
of the learners. This was certainly food
for thought. (p. 39)

Discussion
This research had two purposes. It aimed
to develop teachers skills in meeting the
learning needs of disparate learner groups
and, at the same time, to give teachers opportunities to reflect critically and systematically
on their own classroom practices in order to
take these practices in new directions. Two
major dimensions emerged strongly from the
project. The first was that a noticeable shift
took place from a deficit concept of diverse
learner groups to one that saw them as creating exciting challenges and offering multiple

resources for teaching and learning.


Secondly, teachers increasingly viewed
themselves as creative classroom decision
makers, with skills in matching a repertoire
of teaching techniques to the diverse needs of
their learners.
For many of the teachers, too, the collaborative action research framework for the project became a catalyst for continuing their
own professional growth. It caused them to

Many teachers realized that they


needed to abandon ideas of
achieving neat, homogeneous
classroom subgroups and to treat
the learner group more
holistically.

see second language teaching and learning in


a new light. Pam McPherson (1997), whose
classroom situation illuminated some of the
key issues related to teaching diverse groups
at the beginning of this article, speaks for
most of the teachers when she comments:
Collaborative action research ... helped
me bring into question all the teaching
values I held and forced me to justify
to myself and my students, the theoretical principles underlying my teaching
practice. The course became one of the
most interesting and challenging I have
ever taught. I am deeply indebted to
the members of the action research
group who encouraged, advised and
supported me at all my crisis points
and inspired me by their own dedication and integrity. (p. 30)

Note
1The term migrant is used in Australia to
refer to immigrants to the country who were
born elsewhere.

Acknowledgment
This research was a NCELTR Special
Project funded by the Australian
Commonwealth Department of Immigration
and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA). I would
like to thank all the AMEP teachers who
researched their classrooms as part of the
project.

References
Air, S. (1997). A profile of individual differences in two language learners. In A.
Burns & S. Hood (Eds.), Teachers voices 2:
Teaching disparate learner groups (pp. 2425). Sydney, Australia: National Centre for
Autumn 1997

English Language Teaching and Research.


Burns, A. (1996). Collaborative action
research and curriculum change in the
Australian Adult Migrant English Program.
TESOL Quarterly, 30, 591-598.
Burns, A., & Hood, S. (Eds). (1995).
Teachers voices: Exploring course design in
a changing curriculum. Sydney, Australia:
National Centre for English Language
Teaching and Research.
Burns, A., & Hood, S. (Eds.). (1997).
Teachers voices 2: Teaching disparate
learner groups. Sydney, Australia: National
Centre for English Language Teaching and
Research.
Hadfield, J. (1992). Classroom dynamics.
Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jackson, E.
(1993). Non-language outcomes in the language classroom: Curriculum guidelines.
Sydney, Australia: National Centre for
English
Language
Teaching
and
Research/NSW Adult Migrant English
Service.
Jackson, E. (1994). Non-language outcomes: Activities and resources. Sydney,
Australia: National Centre for English
Language Teaching and Research and NSW
Adult Migrant English Service.

Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (Eds.).


(1988). The action research planner. Deakin,
Australia: Deakin University Press.
de Leon, L. (1997). Strategies for non-language outcomes. In A. Burns & S. Hood
(Eds.), Teachers voices 2: Teaching disparate learner groups (pp. 108-114). Sydney,
Australia: National Centre for English
Language Teaching and Research.
McPherson, P. (1997a). Social and cultural
difference in the classroom. In A. Burns & S.
Hood (Eds.), Teachers voices 2: Teaching
disparate learner groups (pp. 26-30). Sydney,
Australia: National Centre for English
Language Teaching and Research.
McPherson, P. (1997b). Action research:
Exploring learner diversity. Prospect, 12, 5062.
Muldoon, M. (1997). A profile of group
diversity. In A. Burns & S. Hood (Eds.),
Teachers voices 2: Teaching disparate
learner groups (pp. 18-23). Sydney,
Australia: National Centre for English
Language Teaching and Research.
Pierson, C. (1997). Finding common
goals. In A. Burns & S. Hood (Eds.),
Teachers voices 2: Teaching disparate
learner groups (pp. 138-142). Sydney,
Australia: National Centre for English

Language Teaching and Research.


Quinn, M. (1997). Ah writing . . . its OK
now: Perceptions of literacy learning. In A.
Burns & S. Hood (Eds.), Teachers voices 2:
Teaching disparate learner groups (pp. 4349). Sydney, Australia: National Centre for
English Language Teaching and Research.
Shaw, S. (1997). Group dynamics. In A.
Burns & S. Hood (Eds.), Teachers' voices 2:
Teaching disparate learner groups (pp. 5459). Sydney, Australia: National Centre for
English Language Teaching and Research.
Valeri, L. (1997). What do students think
of group work? In A. Burns & S. Hood
(Eds.), Teachers' voices 2: Teaching disparate learner groups (pp. 37-39). Sydney,
Australia: National Centre for English
Language Teaching and Research

Anne Burns is senior lecturer and coordinator of professional development at the


National Centre for English Language
Teaching and Research, Macquarie
University, Sydney. She has taught in Britain
France, Kenya, and Mauritius and has
worked for 15 years in the Australian Adult
Migrant English Program. She is editor of
Prospect: A Journal of Australian TESOL.

EFL Teacher Development


Through Critical Reflection
La D. Kamhi-Stein and Jos L. Galvn

oving away from models


that focus on the transmission
of information, second language teacher education
programs now promote the
development of teaching expertise through a
process of critical reflection in a context of
collaboration (Cray & Currie, 1996). In a
transmission model of teacher education, the
main source of information and feedback
about classroom practices is the teacher
trainer. In the critical reflection model, the
teacher trainees themselves act as their own
sources of information about what constitutes
best practices for them. They examine their
own teaching and beliefs and use them as a
source for change (Richards & Lockhart,
1994). Through this process of critical reflection, teachers become autonomous because
they take control over and transform their
teaching practices.
The critical reflection model typically has
focused on experiences gained by practicing
teachers in the course of teaching actual
classes in their own setting, either ESL or
EFL. We extended the use of this model to
include the experiences gained by EFL teachers through a series of observations in U.S.
ESL classrooms, combined with reflection
upon their own teaching practices back
home. This article describes a series of principles that can be used to design programs of
this type.

The CSULA Institute for


Egyptian Teachers of English
We developed the ideas we present in this
article as part of an innovative second language teacher education project for EFL

12 TESOL JOURNAL

teachers from Egypt, held on the campus of


California State University, Los Angeles
(CSULA) in the Spring of 1996. A group of
25 Egyptian teachers of English who were
teaching in elementary and secondary
schools in Egypt participated in an 11-week
collaborative program we designed to foster
critical reflection both in a campus-based
teacher education curriculum and in an
observational component that paired the EFL
teachers with experienced ESL teachers in a
nearby public school system.1 Underlying
this design was the premise that teacher education programs must provide trainees with
opportunities to reflect critically upon their
own teaching practices and beliefs in a context of collaboration with other teachers.
The collaboration was designed to be multifaceted and multicultural. The Egyptian
teachers were immersed in ESL classrooms,
where they observed and interacted with
experienced teachers, and after which they
engaged in critical reflection on their own
teaching in Egypt, with guidance from the
universitys teacher trainers. They were also
paired in an e-mail dialogue activity with students in the universitys MA TESOL program for the purpose of highlighting both the
similarities and the differences between their
respective milieus. The result was that all
three groupsthe ESL and EFL teachers as
well as the MA TESOL studentscould benefit from the cross-cultural exchange. This
approach is consistent with the CSULA programs philosophy that teachers must be
viewed as members of a community, and, as
such, their teaching practices must be seen in
relation to the larger society in which they
live (Bartlett, 1990).

The institute was designed to focus on the


kinds of issues that the typical EFL practitioner in Egypt faces on a daily basis. EFL
instruction in Egypt tends to follow the grammar-translation approach and relies heavily
on drills and skills-based exercises.
Therefore, the critical reflection sessions, as
well as the accompanying workshops and
activities in the university-based teacher
development program, dealt specifically with
such issues as practice in (a) conducting
small-group activities to minimize the negative effects of large class sizes; (b) adapting
grammar skills-based lessons into interactive
activities that encourage communication, and
converting grammar-translation literature
lessons into content-based lessons that promote critical thinking skills; (c) describing
the research and theoretical foundations of
the newer approaches as preparation for dealing with the expected resistance of their
Egyptian peers and supervisors upon their
return home; and (d) engaging in forms of
inquiry designed to examine the teachers
instructional practices and beliefs, and the
societal factors that would prevent them from
changing.
In the first week of the institute, the institute faculty explained the emphasis on communication-based methods to the participants
with reference to the typical Egyptian classroom.2 We acknowledged the good reasons
the Egyptian EFL classrooms have been slow
to change. It is difficult for teachers who
themselves have learned English through the
traditional approaches to suddenly turn their
backs on familiar classroom methods in favor
of newer ones. Furthermore, the overcrowded
classroom conditions in Egypt provide an
easy excuse for teachers to dismiss the com-

munication-based methods as impractical or


inappropriate. Other problems include a
national testing program that requires that
students pass discrete-point grammar tests of
English to qualify for admission to the next
educational tier. It is understandable, then,
that teachers would be reluctant to abandon
their teaching to the test approaches and
that they would want to hold on to the more
familiar grammar-translation and drill-andskill methods.
Throughout the duration of the institute,
the use of computer technology was emphasized. We created an interactive World Wide
Web site specifically for the institute (see
samples, below).3 The participants used the
Web site to post creative writing products, art
work, lesson plans, class papers, idioms
learned, and culture capsules. In addition, all
of the participants as well as the institute faculty were linked for e-mail directly from the
Web site.
Finally, the institute was designed to overlap with the regular MA TESOL programs
methods and materials development compo-

nents. The result was a rich mixture of ideas


for lessons that benefited everyone who participated in the collaboration.

Four Principles for


Conducting EFL Teacher
Development Through
Critical Reflection
The following four principles can be used
to design a university-based EFL teacher
development program that incorporates the
critical reflection model.

1. Guide Participants to
Reflect on the Connections
Between the Observed
Teaching and Their Own
Classroom Practices
The obvious focus of discussion in a typical critical reflection session is the classroom
in which the teaching has occurred. When the
participants are discussing what they have
observed rather than what they have taught, it
is important for the teacher trainers to guide the trainees away
from focusing on the observed
teacher and instead concentrate
on discussing any implications
for their own teaching back
home. In other words, rather than
conduct evaluations of the

Sample Web Pages

observed lessons, the trainees


should focus on their own needs.
The critical element here is the
connection between what they
have seen and what they may
adapt for use in Egypt or elsewhere.
In the CSULA institute, we
implemented this critical reflection approach in four modules
reflective teaching, methodology,

curriculum and materials development, and


issues in ESL/EFL. The chart on page 14
describes how this was done.
The reflective teaching module consisted
of 8 hours of weekly observations of ESL
instructors in elementary, middle school, or
secondary school classrooms (according to
their level assignment in Egypt), followed by
a 3-hour weekly debriefing and planning session led by a CSULA teacher trainer. This
offered the EFL teachers regular, weekly
opportunities to observe and examine the
ESL classroom practices they saw, to identify
specific instructional strategies that were
applicable or adaptable to their own teaching
situations, and to reflect upon factors that
might impede change or possible solutions.
The focus of the observations changed
periodically. For example, at the beginning
of the institute, the EFL teachers reflected
upon the types of seating arrangements that
promoted or hindered student participation
and language development. In subsequent
weeks, the observations and discussions were
centered around the structure of the ESL lesson, the language used in the classroom, the
nature of the language learning activities, and
their roles as teachers (Richards & Lockhart,
1994).
The methodology and the curriculum and
materials development modules consisted of
4-hour weekly workshops designed to complement the critical reflection sessions.
Weekly meetings of
the reflective teaching,
methodology, and curriculum and materials
development faculty
ensured that a direct
connection was maintained across the modules. For instance, the
methodology workshop introduced the
Egyptian EFL teachers, through peer
teaching, to communicative
teaching
methods and techniques. The curriculum and materials
development session
was also hands-on and
was always tied directly to the specific methods they had already practiced. These sessions resulted in the development of
numerous lesson plans, together with accompanying materials and props, designed for
use in the teachers own classrooms in Egypt.
These lessons were based on units taken from
the EFL textbooks that are currently used in
Egypt.

Autumn 1997

13

Implementation of Critical Reflection Model Through Four Complementary Modules


Reflective Teaching
11 hours a week

Methodology
4 hours a week

Curriculum and Materials


Development
4 hours a week

Issues in ESL/EFL
2 hours a week

Discussions focused on
observations of ESL instructors in public school classrooms and
reflection on participants
teaching practices in Egypt

Workshops focused on
reading and discussion of
best practices taken from
the recent literature (e.g.,
Natural Approach, Total
Physical Response, Language
Experience
Approach,
Directed Reading/Thinking
Approach
modeling of these practices
by institute faculty and
invited presenters

Workshops focused on
adapting grammar-based
translation lessons from the
textbooks used in EFL classrooms in Egypt into communicative-based activities

Seminars focused on
reading and discussion in the
theoretical foundations of
second language acquisition,
including such topics as: similarities/differences between
first and second language
acquisition and the notions of
interlanguage, scaffolding,
comprehensible input, and
the affective filter

Activities
Participants worked individually
to
complete structured observational assignments using a
focused checklist, adapted
each week by topic (e.g.,
seating arrangement, structure of the lesson, language
used in the classroom, nature
of language learning activities, role of the teacher)

Activities
Participants worked in groups to
develop sample lesson plans
to be used in teacher development workshops
practice methods developed
through peer-teaching
develop strategies for peer
coaching

Activities
Participants worked in groups
according to the textbooks used
in Egypt to
adapt their EFL textbooks to
incorporate best practices
identified in the literature
produce handouts and props
to accompany their lessons

Activities
Participants engaged in group
learning tasks designed to
model cooperative learning
techniques
introduce communicative language teaching techniques
into the FL classroom
assist them in designing
teacher development workshops for their peers in Egypt

Products
Participants developed
written descriptions of best
practices observed ESL classrooms
descriptions of obstacles to
the implementation of these
practices in Egypt and possible solutions to overcome
them, and
action plans, including
descriptions of specific teaching strategies and observation
procedures, and follow-up
activities

Products
Participants developed portfolios
containing
sample lesson plans drawing
on best practices taken from
the literature
handouts and materials
designed to help in implementation of sample lesson
plans

Products
Participants developed portfolios
containing
lesson plans based on their
own textbooks
their own and others handouts and props

Products
Participants
developed model teacher
development workshops on
the rationale for an interactive, communication-based
curriculum
rehearsed these workshops
and presented them at a symposium held at the conclusion
of the institute

14 TESOL JOURNAL

The issues in ESL/EFL module was a 2hour session that gave the Egyptian participants a chance to reflect on the theories
underlying the implementation of a communicative approach in language teaching.
Although it was not always possible to make
direct connections to the classrooms they had
observed, the Egyptian EFL teachers were
encouraged by the instructor to draw from
their observations in the class discussions in
an attempt to connect the theory with the
practice vis--vis a real classroom setting.
They were then asked to practice expressing
these connections to the Egyptian settings.
Their final product for this module was an
oral presentation, designed as an in-service
workshop for their peers in Egypt, in which
they described the rationale for communication-based teaching.

teachers stress, rhythm, and intonation in


English as they learned idioms, contemporary popular songs, and traditional American
folk songs.
Finally, the use of e-mail and the Web in
the CMC class gave the EFL teachers opportunities for language and professional development. Each of the Egyptian teachers was
paired in an e-mail correspondence project
with a student in the CSULA MA TESOL
program.4 This activity was designed to give
the Egyptian teachers an opportunity to play
the role of the more capable other (Tharp
& Gallimore, 1988, p. 35) by allowing them
to share information about Egyptian culture
and their own teaching practices in Egypt
(Kamhi-Stein & Browne-del Mar, 1997). The
chart on page 16 describes the range of activities that involved the use of computers.

2. Demonstrate
Communication-Based
Teaching Through a Language
Development Component

3. Integrate the Program


Participants Into the Host
Schools Community

The communication-based philosophy


was evident in the ESL classrooms the EFL
teachers observed. Indeed, we chose the
classrooms carefully with this in mind.
However, we recognized from the outset that
we would have to do more than just provide
opportunities for the Egyptian teachers to
observe what we considered good teaching.
We felt that if our teacher development program was to succeed we would have to follow our own advice. For this reason, we
created a language development component
to help the participants improve their English
language skills (their TOEFL scores upon
their arrival in the United States had averaged 450) as well as to enrich their educational experience at CSULA. This
component consisted of three 2-hour weekly
classes: an ESL creative writing class, a pronunciation and communication skills class,
and a computer-mediated communication
(CMC) class.
The ESL creative writing class was a
hands-on workshop in which the Egyptian
teachers wrote poetry, stories, and reflective
essays drawing on their knowledge of
Egyptian culture, history, and tradition, and
on their life experiences back home. The
instructor followed the writing process techniques, including brainstorming, clustering,
drafting, redrafting, editing, and peer-editing.
The Egyptian teachers also participated in
two workshops on the writing process that
highlighted the rationale for the instructional
model they were experiencing.
The pronunciation and communication
skills module presented a variety of classroom activities designed to improve the EFL

In designing the institute, we felt it was


important to provide ample opportunity for
contact between institute participants and students enrolled in the university, especially
because the institute classes and workshops
were to be held in one of the main classroom
facilities on campus. We accomplished this
in several ways.
First, the TESOL program faculty were
invited to create class assignments for their
MA program courses that could be coordinated with the institute activities. This
resulted in the pairing of graduate MA students with institute participants in the e-mail
activity that served as the basis for the MA
students research papers.
Second, although the institute participants
were not registered as university students,
they were given university identification
cards and university accounts that allowed
them to use all campus facilities, including
the University Writing Center and the various campus computer labs. Many of the EFL
teachers chose to meet with Writing Center
tutors on a regular basis, while others spent
many hours in the computer labs, where they
searched the Web, downloaded lesson plans
that they could use in Egypt, and worked on
their class projects.
Third, the school teachers whose classes
were observed were invited to attend the
social and educational events that were part
of the institute. Members of the EgyptianAmerican community from the Greater Los
Angeles area also were invited to participate
in social events, and the Los Angeles-Giza
Sister City Committee hosted the institute
participants and staff at an afternoon symposium and dinner party attended by several

Egyptian-American professors, the Egyptian


Tourist Office director, and a representative
of the Egyptian Consulate in San Francisco.
In addition, private individuals from the Los
Angeles area invited smaller groups of participants to their homes for dinners and other
social events.
Finally, a special feature of the institute
was the participation of a large number of
students from the MA TESOL program.
Some of these graduate students assisted in
the development, administration, and scoring
of a pre- and post-institute proficiency test;
others designed and maintained the institutes
Web page or served as classroom teaching
assistants; and two were cultural liaisons,
responsible for answering questions, providing guidance, offering friendship, and organizing other social events. In most cases,
these students primary motivation was to
gain some valuable experience. An unexpected and welcomed by-product of their
involvement was the development of a family atmosphere that came from the many
hours spent together.

4. Create Classroom Materials


and Group Portfolio for Use
Back Home
An important feature of institutes of this
type is to provide a mechanism for participants to take back with them new instructional materials that they can use in their own
classrooms. This was an integral part of our
institute. Every workshop and institute module helped participants develop materials for
EFL classrooms in Egypt. Perhaps the best
example of this was the curriculum and materials design module. In this module, the
Egyptian EFL teachers were assigned to
groups on the basis of the books they used in
Egypt. Staff guided them in how to apply the
ideas discussed in the different institute
classes and adapt the lessons in their textbooks to make them communicative and student centered. The institute staff collected all
of these adaptations, along with products
from each of the other workshops, and
assembled them as a group portfolio, copies
of which were made for all of the participants
to take back to Egypt.
The group portfolio contained examples
of the best products of each of the modules.
We designed this resource book to meet two
basic objectives. The first was to make it possible for the trainees to carry back to Egypt
the principles that undergird the communicative approach to language teaching, along
with some concrete examples of how this
approach can be implemented in the
Egyptian setting in spite of such difficulties
as large class sizes, a structural grammar-

Autumn 1997

15

Implementation of Computer-Mediated Communication and Computer Skills Instruction


in the CSULA Institute for Egyptian EFL Teachers
Objective

Technique

Familiarize Egyptian teachers with e-mail


and Web mechanics

Participants
composed and sent e-mail messages, read and replied to a received e-mail message, and
downloaded and printed messages
sent and received e-mail messages to and from faculty at CSULA and the University of
Alexandria in Egypt
accessed the institutes Web site and learned how to link to other sites

Provide Egyptian teachers with computer


skills training

Participants
received a hands-on orientation to computers (e.g. learning how to use the mouse and keyboard)
used computer labs on campus for word processing of class papers and lesson plans

Promote professional development using


the computer

Participants
visited Web sites for language educators (e.g., AskERIC and Linguistic Funland TESL
Page) and searched for and printed lesson plans and classroom ideas relevant to the
Egyptian teaching situation
used search engines (e.g., Yahoo, ALTAVISTA) to identify sites containing lesson plans
relevant to the Egyptian teaching situation
sent messages to their e-mail partners reflecting upon their own L2 teaching and learning
practices
discussed how they would integrate computers in their EFL classes
adapted e-mail and Web tasks to their EFL situation

Promote L2 development using the


computer

Participants
were paired with MA TESOL students and participated in an intercultural e-mail project
visited Web sites that educate (e.g., the U.S. White House and the Smithsonian Institute)
and completed classroom tasks (e.g., sending an e-mail message to President Clinton and
answering questions about the different Smithsonian museums)

translation curriculum, and, in many cases,


immovable student desks. A second objective
for this book was that it should serve as a
useful resource for the participants when they
prepare to deliver workshops for their colleagues in their schools, as required by the
U.S. Agency for International Development,
the sponsor of the institute.
During the last week of the institute, the
Egyptian EFL teachers participated in a halfday symposium, a culminating activity that
called for them to integrate all of the skills
they had learned in the course of the institute.
The ESL teachers of the classrooms they had
observed and their principals were invited,
along with the students in the MA TESOL
program. The symposium program included
a brief lecture, given jointly by four EFL
teachers, in which they described the rationale for communicative EFL instruction in
Egypt, and a demonstration of five communicative lessons, each of which was presented

by a team of four to five participants.


The symposium was videotaped, and
copies of the videotape were mailed to the
EFL teachers upon their return to Egypt. We
hope and expect that the videotape will serve
as a useful resource for teacher development.

16 TESOL JOURNAL

What We Learned From the


Project
From our perspectives as directors of the
institute, it was easy to see the benefits of the
interactions among the Egyptian participants,
our MA TESOL faculty and students, and the
public school teachers whose classrooms
were observed. By the end, all three groups
had developed a firsthand appreciation for
the value of the central principle in our
design of the institutethat professional
development comes from reflection on practice and interactions with other professionals.
This benefit is important because of its

potential as a lifelong tool for continuing


development. However, the institute can be
credited with several other benefits as well.
First, we confirmed our assumption that
critical reflection can be adapted to many settings and used even in situations where no
teaching is being done by the participants. In
our case, the participants used the observations as a stimulus for reflecting upon their
own teaching practices in Egypt, even though
these reflections were based on retrospection.
The institute taught us and the rest of the
MA TESOL faculty that we need to be flexible when it comes to our notions of best practices. It is easy in a TESOL program to
develop a narrow perspective based on our
exposure to ESL classrooms. By working
with the Egyptians teachers to adapt classroom techniques for use in EFL classrooms,
we were forced to acknowledge that the differences between the ESL and EFL settings
sometimes require us to adjust our assump-

tions about teaching in the language classroom. For example, it is unusual for a U.S.
teacher nowadays to be assigned a classroom
with immovable desks in rows. Yet, this is
precisely the most common seating arrangement in Egyptian public schools. Institute
faculty had to concentrate on finding ways to
accommodate this factor.
Our own MA TESOL program benefited
immeasurably from the community building
that resulted from the multidimensional interactions between our MA students and
Egyptian participants, our faculty and the
EFL professionals, the public school teachers, and the wider community (e.g., private
individuals, university students at large, consulate staff). The institute resulted in a closer
student-faculty relationship as evidenced by a
number of follow-up collaborative projects,
including articles and several presentations at
international, state, and local conferences.
The MA TESOL students developed a
more realistic view of the EFL setting than is
normally possible in a TESOL program
based in the United States. The e-mail
exchanges and interpersonal contacts gave
many of our students their first experience
interacting with EFL professionals. Many of
these students have expressed an interest in
job possibilities abroad.
Finally, the larger community in the

TESOL
Journal

Special Issue
One World, Many
Tongues: Language Policies
and the Rights of Learners
Coeditors: Robert A.
DeVillar and Toshiko
Sugino

The Autumn 1999 special issue of


TESOL Journal will focus on understanding
the role of language rights in the education
of students within multilingual settings.
The major purpose of this special issue is
to raise the awareness of the language
rights issue as a global phenomenon that
effects the educational inputs (e.g.,
infrastructure, curriculum, policies,

Charter School of Education at CSULA, of


which the TESOL program is a part, developed a better understanding of the Egyptian
teachers cultural backgrounds by taking part
in many of the opportunities for cross-cultural exchange. For example, the Egyptian
participants requested and were given two
bulletin boards outside their classroom,
which they used to showcase their countrys
treasures, both ancient and modern. This, in
turn, led to conversations between the
Egyptian teachers and passersby who noticed
the bulletin board displays. Ultimately, the
EFL teachers were invited to make presentations about their country and backgrounds in
several classrooms, and they were featured in
two school newspaper stories, one at a local
high school and another in the CSULA student paper.

Conclusions
The model of teacher development
described in this article provided EFL teachers with opportunities to reflect critically on
their own teaching practices and beliefs in a
context of collaboration. This was accomplished by implementing multiple techniques,
including
reading and discussing exemplary teaching practices
observing and reflecting upon the instruc-

teacher preparation and attitudes,


programs) and outcomes of students (e.g.,
individual and sociocultural development,
academic achievement, personal and social
identity, career, and social orientation).
Contributions are particularly
encouraged from the following topic areas,
all of which relate to learning contexts,
whether for youths or adults:
1. The rationale for language rights: Its
perceived impact on the individual,
school, and society
2. The practice of language rights in
diverse learning settings: Standard or
nonstandard (to include code
switching), affluent or low income,
public or private sector ...
3. The assessment of language rights
policies and practices
The categories are for illustrative
purposes and do not imply that the areas
are mutually exclusive; thus, a submission
may relate to all three, or even other, areas.
Submissions relating to the first category
might address the philosophical, historical,
and pedagogical aspects associated with
the need for language rights policies and
practices, as well as the perceived or
assessed consequences for teachers,
students, and society as a result of these

tional practices of successful ESL teachers


adapting such practices to meet the communication language needs of Egyptian
EFL students
One of the strengths of our institute was
that the collaboration was multidimensional.
For instance, the participants worked closely
with the teachers whose classrooms were
observed, with institute faculty, and with
each other, to develop ways of adapting their
grammar-translation teaching materials to
accommodate the communicative techniques
they observed. The institute faculty, through
weekly meetings, also sought to maintain a
constant connection between the observed
lessons in the schools and the content of the
various modules. In particular, there was
constant communication between institute
faculty to ensure that the products of any
given methodology session would be used in
the next curriculum and materials session as
the basis for developing multiple adaptations
designed to be applied to their own classroom setting back home. The group portfolio
is a collection of these adaptations, geared
specifically to the content of the textbooks
currently in use in Egypt.
Another strength of the institute was the
layering of the many techniques we utilized
to accomplish not only the goal of effective
teacher development but also that of personal

policies and practices being present or


absent.
Submissions relating to the second
category would describe actual contexts
where language rights policies and
practices have been implemented and
identify salient strategies that contributed
to instructional effectiveness and student
learning. Submissions relating to the third
category would present quantitative or
qualitative assessments of instructional or
learning endeavors within language
rights-based settings.
Contributions are welcome in all
departments: articles, tips, reviews, and
perspectives. All submissions must
conform to regular submission guidelines.

The deadline
for submission is
January 2, 1999.
Send queries and material to:
Robert A. DeVillar, University of
California, Educational Research Center,
351 E. Barstow, Suite 101, Fresno, CA
93710-6002 USA. Queries only to
radevillar@ucdavis.edu.

Autumn 1997

17

growth. The technology component, centered


on the use of the institutes own Web page,
was key here. The participants used e-mail
and the Web as tools to generate ideas and
collect useful teaching resources. At the same
time, they improved their English skills, in
part, through the use of yet another medium
of communication, and, by their own
account, they gained an appreciation for the
importance of technology in education.
Although the main purpose of the institute
was to promote the use of communicative
teaching in Egyptian EFL classrooms, it was
clear to all who participated that the actual
benefits derived went far beyond that goal.

Notes
l

This project was one of several EFL


institutes hosted by U.S. universities and
funded by the U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) through its Teacher
Training Initiative (TTI) effort administered
by the Binational Fulbright Commission in
Cairo, Egypt. The main goal of the institute,
as specified by the USAID guidelines, was to
train the Egyptian teachers in communication-based methods, including classroom
management skills that could be used in
classrooms of 50 or more students.

18 TESOL JOURNAL

For many years, grammar drills and


exercises have been de-emphasized, though
some researchers have noted in recent years
that grammar ought not to be abandoned
totally (Celce-Murcia, Drnyei, & Thurrell,
1997).
3
The institutes Web site can be accessed
at the following URL: http://web.calstatela.
edu/academic/tesol/egypt/egypt.htm
4
This activity was part of an assignment
given to the TESOL MA students in two of
their MA courses.

References
Bartlett, L. (1990). Teacher development
through reflective teaching. In J. C. Richards
& D. Nunan (Eds.), Second language teacher
education (pp. 202-214). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Celce-Murcia, M., Drnyei, Z., &
Thurrell. S. (1997). Direct approaches to L2
instruction: A turning point in communicative language teaching. TESOL Quarterly,
31, 141-152.
Cray, E., & Currie, P. (1996). Linking
adult learners with the education of L2 teachers. TESOL Quarterly, 30, 113-130.
Kamhi-Stein, L. D., & Browne-de1 Mar,
C. (1997). Promoting EFL teacher develop-

ment through e-mail instruction. CAELL


Journal, 7, 14-19.
Richards, J. C., & Lockhart, C. (1994).
Reflective teaching in second language classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
Tharp, R. G., & Gallimore, R. (1988).
Rousing minds to life: Teaching, learning,
and schooling in social context. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.

Authors
Lia D. Kamhi-Stein is assistant professor
in the TESOL program at California State
University, Los Angeles, where she teaches
courses in English for academic purposes,
curriculum and materials design, and
ESL/EFL methodology. She was the academic coordinator of the EFL institute
described in this article.
Jos L. Galvn is associate professor and
the coordinator of the TESOL program at
California State University, Los Angeles. He
teaches courses in theories of second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and the
use of computers in second language classrooms. He directed the EFL institute
described here.

Professional Development
Schools: A Balanced Wheel
Makes It Better For Everyone
Peggy J. Anderson

he Professional Development
School (PDS) is a concept first
suggested in 1986 by the Holmes
Group, a group of college deans, as
a means to facilitate the simultaneous renewal of public schools and schools of
education. Across the United States, collaborative teams of public school staff and university faculty are now working to bring
about profound changes as they attempt to
invent new institutions that will capture culturally responsible pedagogy, inspire reflective practice, and raise academic and
affective performance among students.
Johnson (1996) likewise calls for the development of PDSs in relation to TESOL
teacher education programs as a way for students to make sense of theory and become
socialized into school culture.
In the summer of 1994, in Wichita,
Kansas, one such group began this journey
when Wichita State University (WSU) and
Wichita Public Schools (WPS), the urban
school district in which the university
resides, formed a partnership. The WPS district leadership had sensed an urgent need to
provide effective instruction for the growing
number of ESOL students who have been traditionally marginalized in many U.S.
schools. Due to the extensive time needed to
acquire a second language, these students
have often underachieved academically, and
have dropped out of secondary schools in
record numbers (up to 80%). The WPS had a
strategic 5-year school improvement plan

calling for more engagement with higher


education. At the same time, WSU had been
seeking to advance more concentrated
school-based experiences for preservice
teachers. PDS provided the perfect marriage
of these respective goals. Together they
became stakeholders in a common destiny.
Now, 3 years later, elementary and middle
school PDSs are in full operation, and a secondary program is being crafted. The initial
planning team of 14 teachers and school
administrators, and three university faculty
members, including myself, met regularly
from October 1994 until May 1995. The
team came to know each other well, discovered each others perspectives, studied other
PDS models, visioned, planned, jockeyed for
power, had a lot of fun, and, after 14 months,
were transformed from three discrete groups
to one group who, above all else, had learned
how to share power. The group forged a
comprehensive document, specific plans,
symbols (e.g., the balanced wheel metaphor),
and a time line. Our stated mission was to
establish a professional development school
that would foster a collaborative community
of learners involving:
students at the school complex
staff at the school complex
university students
university faculty
Less directly, through a school governance body (Site Council), the community of
learners also embraced representatives from

social service agencies, the city law enforcement agency that had a substation on the
premises, community businesses, parents,
and neighborhood residents.

The PDS Goal: A Balanced


Wheel
A balanced wheel was chosen as the
metaphor that could best represent the PDS
concept. The four quadrants of the wheel
included
1. more than 900 largely nonnativeEnglish-speaking elementary students
enrolled at the chosen public school complex consisting of three neighboring
schools
2. 26 participating faculty (renamed Clinical
Faculty Associates or CFAs) representing
teachers from all grade levels and all three
schools with at least 3 years of teaching
experience (including the only two ESOL
teachers)
3. two groups of preservice teachers (32)
from the College of Education at WSU
(juniors in their first semester of teacher
education and seniors in the semester
prior to their student teaching)
4. three participating faculty from the
University
As director of the TESOL programs, I was
an obvious choice and was invited by our
dean to participate in the project. The primary goal that emerged was to create a bal-

Autumn 1997

19

Study Groups

anced wheel. That is, the guiding principle


for every decision would be, Will it make
life better for everyone? Could the PDS
realize that lofty ambition? Could it combine
the best of theory, research, and practice? We
all wondered if it might, hoped that it could,
and longed that it would. We felt education
needed to move in new directions, and PDS
could perhaps provide that vehicle.

In order to grow together as a collaborative community of learners, a series of


semester-long study groups was constructed
by all participants. The topics were brainstormed, circulated, voted, and agreed upon.
Second language and cultural issues immediately surfaced as a priority. Thus far, some of
the ideas that have been chosen as
semester-long themes have included:
ESOL/bilingual teaching strategies (e.g.,
whole language approach, language experience approach, cooperative learning,
graphic organizers, Total Physical
Response, information gap activities,
instructional conversations).
ESOL/bilingual program models (e.g.,
two-way bilingual, transitional ESOL)

en
ud
St

ni

lt

ve

cu

rs

it

Fa

ol

ho

Sc

The Horace Mann Foreign Language


Magnet School Complex, in Wichita, was
selected as the first site by the leadership of
the WPS in conjunction with the Dean of the
College of Education because
The student population was characteristic
of anticipated future demographics.
Key school leaders were in place who
were known to be supportive of innovation and well respected by their staff.
Connections with the university were
already in place (e.g., administrative
interns from a WSU doctoral program
were located at the site).
The site already had the reputation
of providing a positive learning
environment for children.
As a foreign language magnet,
ESOL would take on equal status
with other second languages
offered at the school: Spanish,
French, German, Japanese and
Vietnamese.
We believed that this setting could
change the perception of English language learners as being a liability to
that of being an asset to the school community. The elementary school complex
had 981 students at three neighboring school
sites. African Americans represented 20% of
that total, European Americans 22%,
Hispanics 58%, Asians 4%, and Native
Americans 1%. Approximately half of the
students (478) qualified for ESOL services;
however, only two teachers in the complex
had ESOL endorsements. The only endorsement program available prior to 1994, when
WSU began its program, was 3 hours away,
so this was not surprising.
As of 1997, 16 classroom teachers are
now fully endorsed, and close to all of the
remaining teachers in the three PDS buildings (approximately 48) are moving along
the path toward it. No new teacher is hired
for this site without at least provisional
ESOL endorsement (12 hours). Most of the
children at the school were enrolled in free or
reduced lunch programs. The rationale was
that if PDS could achieve its goals in that
complex and diverse environment, replicability would be more easily ensured.

ts

The PDS Site

The Balanced Wheel


Making it Better for Everyone

cu

lt

(Quintanilla, Klotek, & Potthoff, 1996)

rs
ve
U
ni

ne

or

it

Fa

id

20 TESOL JOURNAL

classrooms in pairs. The remaining time is


spent in clinical courses. Classroom teachers
(CFAs) and WSU faculty coteach the courses
(e.g., Socio-multicultural Education, Growth
and Development, The Exceptional Child,
Strategies in Math/Science, Instructional
Strategies in Social Studies). The credibility
of the courses is enhanced by the frequent
presence of the classroom teachers.
A PDS classroom was set up in a portable
building adjacent to one of the schools.
Normally, non-PDS WSU students spend 1-2
hours per week in a guided field experience
in a school. A commitment to the 13 hours of
extra time in the PDS field component, along
with other required courses, meant that students could not easily work and be a part of
PDS. WSU is an urban commuter campus
where many students work full-time or
part-time. Thus, the decision to become a
part of the PDS was costly for a number of
the students and attested to their commitment
to the process and to the profession.
In a later phase, two co-coordinators were
selected: one from the school complex and
one from the university. Their responsibility was to maintain the vision of the
initial planning team as well as steer
the mighty new vehicle. Much of what
was developed had to be created day
by day and required energetic and
committed leadership. Their office
was set up at the school site, the hub
of the PDS wheel.
The process of inventing new
roles put everyone to the test.
University faculty could not tout
methodology that was not grounded in
what worked in classrooms. There was no
hiding behind a PhD or lofty ideas.
Classroom teachers had to be able to defend
their practices daily to the questioning preservice teachers. Preservice teachers had to
integrate their course content into their
everyday practice as their instructors and
mentors observed. PDS provided a strong
motivation for all partners to find and implement innovative best practices. Partnership
accountability pushed everyone to make their
instruction relevant. We were reminded daily
that school renewal was all about rolling up
our sleeves, working together, swallowing
our pride at times, and carefully listening to
and learning from each other. I would
describe this process as working in a similar
way to that of Habitat for Humanity, in
which individuals from very different backgrounds (e.g., former President Carter alongside a low income mother and a host of
volunteers) bring their particular intelligences together, learn new skills, gain a new
appreciation for one anothers commitment,
and work along side each other to accomplish

behavior management
technology (e.g., how to best utilize the
new computers that were just arriving,
deciding what kind of training was needed
and who should receive it, trying out new
software and reporting back)
multiple intelligences
innovative teaching strategies (e.g.,
Spanish and English Animated Alphabet
[Stone, 1995], silent sustained reading,
role-reversal)
strategies for drug- and alcohol-affected
students

Time in Schools
University students spend 3 hours each
day on site. Seventy to eighty percent of their
onsite time is spent working in elementary

a larger goalto build a quality home for a


deserving family. As initiators of the PDS,
we all understood our vision was to build an
enriched quality learning environment where
everyone was a learner and the wheel stayed
balanced. The following quotes from journals
and interviews exemplify the essence of how
the PDS process provided growth opportunities for each of its partners:
This hands-on environment gave me
an advantage when it comes to being
able to handle ESOL students here or
anything that may come my way
whenever Im teaching. (Bob S., university student)
Besides the additional adult presence
in the building, PDS has brought with
it enthusiastic students and fresh ideas
to my classroom. One of the
University students in my class got the
ESOL students really involved when
she had the class make family albums.
(Ann T., classroom teacher)
I get more help with my work now.
(Maria G., ESOL elementary pupil)
I have a new commitment to making
my courses relevant at every step of
the way. Im excited because were
going to co-teach one of them next
semester here at the complex. (Clark
F., university faculty)
These students will have three
semesters of classroom experience
under their belt before they even start
their student teaching. Thats the kind
of teacher we want. (Sharon L., nearby
district school administrator)

Professional Growth Teams


Another unique feature of the PDS design
was the professional growth team. Teams of
three to five classroom teachers, university
faculty, and university students met regularly
(i.e., two or three times each semester, in
teams of five) to share individual professional goals and decide upon evidence that
would document their growth. Mixing these
three groups together in professional growth
teams created a collaborative sharing that
most had never experienced and also a new
kind of mentoring across as well as within
groups.
As a participant, I was profoundly moved
during one of these meetings when an
insightful university student was able to
address seriously the need of a building principaland be right on target. The principal,
still new to the process, rhetorically stated
that she wanted to find a way to spend more
time with individual students, but could not
think of how to accomplish this given her

busy (i.e., important) schedule. The preservice teacher, accustomed now to being an
equal partner, spoke up immediately,
addressed her by her given name, and asked
her if she had thought of inviting students
into her office from time to time to read to
them for a few minutes. Though the principal

****
I wondered when
the last time was that the
principal had been
mentored by a 22-year-old
preservice teacher.
****
was taken aback by this suggestion from a
22-year old, she eventually incorporated the
idea as one of her goals. I wondered when
the last time was that the principal had been
mentored by a 22-year-old preservice
teacher.
We all sensed what was happening at that
moment and it was an exhilarating experience that several wrote about in their journals. Barriers and titles tumbled down
through these kinds of experiences, as they
had during the planning process. This was a
valuable lesson we learned over and over
again: If we could function as equal partners,
PDS would thrive, and just might work.
On three occasions, the 30 individuals
involved in the six professional growth teams
met as a whole group. The third whole-group
meeting was scheduled at the end of the
spring semester. Preservice teachers, classroom teachers (CFAs), and university faculty
had an exhibition and celebration of the evidence they had collected to demonstrate the
accomplishment of their individual goals.
Exhibits included an ESOL teaching handbook, display boards with lesson plans
designed to address the needs of ESOL children, content- and language-focused assessment rubrics, student-made photo essays,
research articles based on a PDS action
research project, and much more. Guests
were invited, and refreshments were served.
Everyone had come to appreciate the various assessment processes. Everyone had
explored and tried to ground the connections
between theory and practice. Several university students wrote about feeling responsible
for their own professional growth now and in
the future. One university student wrote in
her journal, I realize now that the
cutting-edge ESOL techniques Im learning
at PDS will not be enough. Ill have to find
some way to keep on top of whats happen-

ing in the field throughout my career as a


teacherbecause I want to stay in an ESOL
school. The accountability across groups
seemed to draw out the best from each of us.
Prior to the implementation of the PDS, a
portfolio process was already in place for
each of the groups, though, in each case,
preparing the portfolio is generally a solitary
activity. University faculty were accountable
through a document and portfolio associated
with the tenure and promotion review process. Classroom teachers had to produce
portfolios for their annual evaluation, and
preservice teachers submitted a portfolio for
assessment at the end of each academic year
(Potthoff, Carroll, Anderson, Attivo, & Kear,
1996). In each case, reflection on goals and
selection of evidence is generally done alone.
Professional growth teams gave us a means
of sharing this common activity, receiving
feedback, and discovering the synergy of a
focused group. Likewise, we all experienced
our vulnerability as we exposed our personal
goals to each other. We received immediate
external as well as internal accountability
our team members might just be watching to
see how we were achieving these goals.
Some of the evidence that was developed to
meet personal ESOL-related goals was often
unique and different from typical non-PDS
portfolio entries. For example:
A university student included a summary
and annotation of teacher-recommended
ESOL materials based on interviews with
a number of ESOL and classroom teachers. Peers in the campus program have traditionally included a course paper in their
portfolios for this entry.
A classroom teacher prepared a large,
easy-to-read, symbol-based behavior management chart that was designed to be
readily accessible to low-level ESOL students. Teachers not involved in the PDS
might have been expected to include
something like a unit or lesson plan for
this entry.
A principal included a completed Title
VII grant proposal to develop a two-way
bilingual program. Other non-PDS principals have traditionally included something
like their school improvement plan for
this entry.
A university faculty member included a
revamped second language methods
course to better model second language
teaching strategies. Non-PDS faculty have
traditionally included something like narrative course evaluations for this entry.

Program Evaluation
The bottom line in program evaluation for
the Wichita PDS is, when asked, do all par-

Autumn 1997

21

ticipants answer and do results show, It has


been better for me? Formal qualitative and
quantitative assessments are, of course, necessary. This is being done through time logs,
reflective journals (daily entries), satisfaction
surveys, annual standardized tests, district
benchmark assessments, purposively selected
interviews, case studies, focus groups, job
placement statistics, portfolios, and artifacts.
These data are currently being compiled for
analysis.
Preliminary results are encouraging. A
comparison of Kansas state-mandated Grade
Four Math Assessment scores for 1994-1997
indicate a strong across-the-board improvement. Average percent correct scores indicated approximately 10-point gains from the
district standard score in 1995-1996 and
additional 20-30 point gains in the
1996-1997 scores (Willon, 1997). So far, this
appears to be exceeding our greatest expectations. Teachers attribute these immediate
results to the new emphasis on hands-on
math implemented from the inspiration of the
university math/science faculty member who
team taught Math/Science Methods with a
classroom teacher at the PDS site. Anecdotal
reports support affective improvement as
well with fewer disciplinary and truancy
problems. Standardized data on language
gains so far suggest ESOL students remain
below the district average when compared to
their native-English-speaking peers, but most
agree multiple assessments are necessary to
truly evaluate the overall success of the students linguistic improvement. Full analysis
is underway and will be reported at a later
date. A few of the other positive reports from
teachers follow.
A number of teachers have asked to
loop (i.e., move to the next grade level)
with their classes as a way of maximizing
the momentum they have seen. Decisions
like this are now initiated from the bottom
up. Teachers reported they have felt more
control in this process than ever before.
Teachers reported that the availability of
more Spanish speakers among the university students eliminated the issue of not
always being able to communicate with
Spanish-speaking parents at conferences.
As a result of the portfolio process, teachers reported that students were taking on a
greater role in presenting their work to
their parents.

Unanticipated Outcomes
During the 2 years since the inception of
the PDS, members of the initial planning
team have written and were awarded a Title
VII Schoolwide Improvement Grant for the
development of a two-way bilingual pro-

22 TESOL JOURNAL

gram, the first ever in the WPS. The knowledge used to document the need for a bilingual program came as a direct result of a
greater awareness of second language acquisition issues that the authors gained through
their PDS-related experiences. The premise
of the grant was drawn from the literature
supporting learning to read in first language
prior to second language learning. It would
have been difficult for them to have written
this a year earlier because the authors were
much less familiar with the language learning
process and instructional approaches for
ESOL students.
The grant began in 1996 and is expected
to inject new technological as well as human
resources into the PDS. PDS-experienced
classroom teachers have been in high
demand by other schools, privately managed
public schools, and other school districts. Job
offers have been too tempting to resist, and
many have moved on to help replicate the

* * * *
I suspect this alone
was as motivating
an experience for them
as it was for me.
* * * *
idea in other schools as their term of commitment ends. The PDS has become, in a way, a
training ground for teachers who can learn,
grow, and go forth and help others do the
same. While we were surprised and saddened
by the losses of key leadership, we have now
come to realize that this is the nature of replication. University PDS students have also
been in demand. More than 90% of those
who completed the 2-year program are currently employed.
Another unexpected outcome was that
classroom teachers received a stipend or
WSU tuition remission for each semester that
one or more university students were placed
in their classrooms. In fact, the majority of
them opted for this opportunity to begin
course work toward their ESOL or bilingual
endorsement. I teach a number of these
courses on the university campus and found
the ongoing presence of these seasoned classroom teachers in class challenging to me and
enriching for the other students. For example,
while I was at the PDS site, I had felt compelled to model the methodology and assessment practices I was proposing (e.g., jigsaws,
reflective activities, cooperative groups,
ongoing evaluation, use of multiple intelli-

gences) with my PDS peers. When I faced


some of those same individuals in my
classes, it felt hypocritical not to do the same
there. So I began to change across the board.
The PDS experience served as the catalyst
for me to complete the restructuring of my
TESOL methods course from one divided by
skill areas in 1993 to one built around guiding principles leading to an integrated, thematic approach in 1994. I also moved from
traditional testing in several classes to testing
core knowledge areas through the multiple
intelligences (Anderson, 1997). I will never
go back.
To my surprise, my course evaluations
were among the highest I had ever received.
Also, other university students in the classes,
especially traditional students, were able to
learn about PDS through the class discussions and contributions of the classroom
teachers. Preservice teachers were able to see
in-service teachers alive with passion and
enthusiasm for their work. I suspect this
alone was as motivating an experience for
them as it was for me.

Growth Experiences
In summary, the following have been
identified by participants as some of the key
opportunities accruing as a direct result of the
PDS experience. Children received:
more exposure to second language teaching techniques due to the enhanced ESOL
training (linguistic and cultural awareness
as well as specific instructional strategies)
daily interaction with more adults who
had an investment in their success
a greater variety of assessments in which
to demonstrate their knowledge and intelligences
computer literacy education resulting
from grants secured by school leadership
opportunities to learn a second language
in an environment where second language
learning was the norm
University preservice teachers received:
support and collaboration gained from
participation in a cohort group (2 years)
in-depth exposure to day-to-day school
culture
exposure to educational issues and solutions through study groups and professional growth teams
time out for reflection and opportunities
for structured goal setting
opportunities to practice leadership skills
in a safe community of learners
regular mentoring from experienced classroom teachers, administrators, and university faculty
daily access to university faculty

an opportunity to learn course concepts


embedded in everyday experience
a market advantage through experience
with ESOL students and a PDS in an
urban school
the opportunity to create a new vision for
education and participate in making it
happen
Clinical Faculty Associates received:

a shared accountability as well as responsibility for all students

structured time out for reflection


exposure to educational issues and solutions through study groups, professional
growth teams and action research
professional growth through coteaching
university courses and mentoring preservice teachers

daily access to WSU faculty


opportunities to observe and use a number
of ESOL teaching strategies concomitant
with learning the theories behind them

the opportunity to create a new vision for


education and participate in making it
happen
University faculty received:
the opportunity to structure research in a
PDS venue

the opportunity to get back into the classroom and demonstrate lessons with real
children and thereby have the opportunity
to test new teaching and learning principles as well as become attuned anew to
the teachers world
exposure to the issues facing schools and
teachers every day
exposure to the current strengths within
local schools
development of long-lasting relationships
with school personnel
motivation to reinvent their university
courses
the opportunity to create a new vision for
education and participate in making it
happen

Keys to an Effective PDS


As the first year concluded, the PDS team
agreed that there were at least four keys to
making a PDS effective:
1. Goals and objectives must be mutually
derived in an environment where everyones views are valued.
2. Equality among partners must be achieved.
3. School-based issues must be the focus.
4. Roles and responsibilities must be forged by

consensus, including the broad-based


responsibilities (e.g., financial commitments) of the school district and university.

Conclusion
As educators, we sometimes operate our
classrooms on impressions. These impressions can be false or skewed when we do not
have a mirror to hold them up against. PDS
provides that kind of mirror for all participants. University faculty are faced with having to be sure they teach what really makes
sense, teachers are faced with having to
account for why they do what they do, and
preservice teachers are faced with integrating
course work into practical field experiences
every day. Has the PDS been better for me?
Yes, without a doubt. Has the PDS been better for everyone? I think so. Time will tell.

References
Anderson, P.
(1997,
March).
Midterm/final assessment. In M. Christisen
(Chair), Multiple intelligences. Seminar conducted at the 31st Annual TESOL
Convention, Orlando, Florida.
Holmes Group (1986). Tomorrows teachers: A report of the Holmes group. East
Lansing, MI: Holmes Group.

Johnson. K. E. (1996. Winter). The role of


theory in L2 teacher education. TESOL
Quarterly, 30, 765-771.
Potthoff, D., Carroll, J., Anderson, P.,
Attivo, B., & Kear, D. (1996, Spring). Striving
for integration: A portfolio content analysis.
Action in Teacher Education, 18, 48-58.
Quintanilla, C., Klotek, T., & Potthoff, D.
(1996, Winter). The balanced wheel. PDS
Partners, 1-5.
Stone. J. (1995). Animated alphabet. La
Vera, CA: J. Stone Creations.
Willon, M. (1997, May). Horace Mann
Elementary: Grade Four Kansas Math
Assessment Trend [graph]. (Available from
Horace Mann Elementary School. 1243 N.
Market, Wichita, Kansas 67214 USA).

Author
Peggy J. Anderson, assistant professor at
Wichita State University, coordinates and
teaches in the TESOL Program. Her research
centers on ESL program evaluation, learning
to teach, and using the multiple intelligences
in teacher education. She served as Associate
Chair for the 1997 TESOL Convention, in
Orlando, Florida.

A Critical Examination of
Classroom Practices to
Foster Teacher Growth and
Increase Student Learning
Lynne J. Cameron

R
O

elated to the theme of this special


issue, I will describe a language
development project in a British
secondary school that had as its
central aim raising the achievement levels of learners for whom English is a
second or additional language 1 (EAL). The
project involved staff from a School of
Education in a British university who worked
with mainstream subject teachers in a local
secondary school for 2 years, investigating
classroom practice and developing effective
teaching strategies. As an in-service project,
it was unusual in that it started as a request
from a school to a university and in that it
offered a high ratio of university staff to
teachers (1:2). The nature of the project continued to evolve as teachers interacted with
university staff in an ongoing process of
observation, discussion, target-setting, and
evaluation.
The outcomes of the project include
changes in teachers practices and understandings, but again this has been two-way:
The data collected as part of the project,
although partial, is very rich, and has contributed to the development of an empirically
based understanding of classroom language
use in the particular context of EAL
(Cameron, Moon, & Bygate, 1996). I will
present examples of these shifts in under-

standing to identify issues for in-service


development with mainstream teachers of
EAL learners.

The Context of the


Language Development
Project
The British National Context
Since the mid 1980s, pupils learning EAL
in British schools have been placed in mainstream classrooms, with little or no access to
withdrawal (pull-out) English classes.
Support for EAL pupils is provided by specialized language support staff working
within a school or, in areas with few EAL
pupils, across a group of schools. The specialized expertise of language support staff is
used in working with mainstream teachers in
the planning and delivery of lessons, and in
providing individualized support for pupils,
mostly directed at those in the early stages of
English language development. This partnership model of language support can work
very effectively, but financial cuts and demographic changes in inner cities have combined to produce some schools with large
numbers of EAL pupils who, in practice,
receive very little support. The onus for lan-

guage development is then placed on mainstream teachers, many of whom have not
received initial or in-service teacher education relating to language development issues.
Government funding for in-service programs
during the past 2 years has gone some way
toward addressing this gap in mainstream
teacher education. It is also becoming clear
that language development policy and planning may have underestimated the length of
time that EAL pupils need to be supported.
After kindergarten and elementary schooling
in English, some older pupils still need support to meet the demands of secondary classrooms.

The School Context


The teacher development project took
place in a secondary school (Years 7-11,
which correspond to U.S. Grades 8-12)
located in a once-prosperous industrial town
in the north of England that now has high
unemployment and a range of associated
socioeconomic problems. There were about
650 pupils in the school at the time of the
project, about 70% of whom had English as
their second or additional language. The
main first languages were Gujarati and
Punjabi, with many of the children coming
from Muslim families originally from India

Autumn 1997

25

The art teacher in the first group of teachers


adopted

this

strategy.

She

recou nted

graphically how difficult she fo und it to ask a


question and wait longer than she usually did
for an answer: The sweat was pouring off me!

or Pakistan. The EAL pupils were mostly


British-born, their parents or grandparents
having come to Britain to work in the
woollen industry. Many pupils return to India
or Pakistan for visits during their school
career, belong to a local community with a
strong linguistic and cultural identity, and
have been educated through English from
kindergarten level.
The town also has a community of
recently arrived refugees from Bosnia, several of whom attended the school. These children have generally been well educated and
have learned English as a foreign language.
Their English language development differs
considerably from that of the local children
in pace and nature.
Mainstream teachers may therefore find in
their classes learners with diverse educational
and linguistic backgrounds, and a range of
levels of English. Classes also contain children with various other special needs. One
class, which was the lowest mathematics
class in Year 7 and had only 16 pupils,
included a girl newly arrived from Pakistan,
a girl who was deaf, and two (non-EAL)
pupils with behavioral problems who created
a great deal of noise and disturbance.
The deputy head teacher of the school,
with responsibility for staff development,
approached several local universities with a
plan for a Whole School Language
Development Project that would address
pupils underachievement in public examinations at age 16. Such underachievement was
thought by the school to be largely language
related.
The University of Leeds team bid for the
consultancy and won a contract to work, initially over three terms, with a group of five
teachers from across the curriculum, through
a combination of input seminars and one-toone work in classrooms. The teachers were
mainstream subject specialists in art, home
economics, information technology, and science, and included a head of department and
a head of year (with pastoral responsibility
for all children across one year group). At the
end of the projects first year, the university

26 TESOL JOURNAL

team was invited to continue for a second


year, working with six additional teachers,
from English, history, mathematics, design
technology, and drama. This group included
two heads of departments. None of the teachers was bilingual; there was an approximate
gender balance.

The In-Service Teacher


Development Project
The project worked with both of
Richards (1996) two dimensions of teacher
knowledge (p. 282): personal views or theories, and subject knowledge, in the belief that
learners educational opportunities are, to a
large degree, enhanced or constrained by
teachers attitudes, skills, and knowledge as
applied in the construction of classroom
events. Learners attitudes to classroom
events, and their roles in them, contribute to
this construction process, resulting in a need
to analyze classroom interaction as collaboratively developed. As part of the project, interviews with pupils were carried out, and
contributed a further dimension to our understanding of classroom interaction. However,
the major focus was on the teachers role and
how this might affect the language development of learners, in the light of current
understandings of language development.
Teachers knowledge of second language
development and of English language in use
was addressed through university-based seminars that took place at the beginning and end
of each term. In this article, however, I shall
concentrate on the classroom action side of
the project.
Teachers personal views, as revealed in
comments at briefing meetings with university staff at the beginning of the project, often
appeared to center, not on their own behavior, but on perceived problems in learners
patterns of interaction or skills. Teachers
statements about the problems they perceived
in their classrooms were documented the initial observations of teachers by the university
staff.
The teachers chose one of their classes to
work with, and each was observed and

recorded at work in the classroom by a member of the university team; recordings were
transcribed, analyzed, and discussed with
teachers.2 The university staff interpreted the
classroom observations and recordings, taking into account the teachers perceptions of
problems, and validated their interpretations
through sharing the analyses with the teachers. In this process, a more complex view
was developed of what was happening in the
classrooms, demonstrating how teacher
behavior and learner behavior interact in the
joint construction of observable outcomes.
The teacher and university staff member
then decided on new teaching strategies to
support specific aspects of language learning,
with the locus of responsibility being shifted
away from learners and back to the teacher as
the holder of classroom power and as the
central actor in the classroom.
Three examples follow of teachers personal views about classroom problems common to several participating teachers.
Because they were common to many classrooms, these issues became sites of action
for the project. I recount how we moved from
observing the difficulties to developing
strategies for resolving them, and then I list
key principles for teaching and learning that
have emerged from the project.

Sites of Action for Teacher


Development
Listening to Instructions
Teachers Views
Teachers reported that, particularly in science and home economics lessons, learners
did not seem to listen carefully to instructions
for classroom activities, and thus were not
able to carry out the activities effectively.
After the teacher had explained a task, the
pupils would begin working, only to return
several minutes later asking what they should
do.

Classroom Observations
Learners were not always provided with,
or convinced of, a clear purpose for listening.
They did not automatically create a purpose for themselves.
The teacher talk did not always make
clear when instructions were coming or
help learners distinguish instructions from
other input.
For example, in one mathematics lesson I
observed, instructions were embedded in
ongoing talk that switched topics to deal with
pupils questions and comments about homework, text books, and behavior of other
pupils. It would not have been easy for a sec-

ond language user to separate what was


important in the talk from what was peripheral.
Learners, in cooperation with teachers,
seemed to have developed coping strategies that involved paying attention only in
certain circumstances.
When the pupils expressed confusion, the
teacher, naturally enough, repeated the
instructions or broke them down into more
helpful stages. Pupils seemed to have come to
expect this back-up provision of information,
and thus downgraded the importance of the
first issuing of instructions.
Instructions were sometimes entirely verbal, with little to attract or hold attention
of children of the video generation.
Instructions were sometimes presented in
difficult, context-reduced language.

Here are the instructions for your task.


support understanding of instructions, in a
range of ways, for example, through
demonstration or visual and graphical support
check learners understanding of instructions before moving on in a range of ways,
for example, through having pupils tell
each other the procedure they are to work
through and then completing an outline of
the activity in a flow chart before starting
practical work
As an example, in the science class, the
teacher used written instructions for an experiment, and had pupils sort them into order as
part of comprehension checking before they
went into groups to carry out the experiment.
give learners ways of asking for clarification if they do not understand

The Process of Teacher Development in the Project


Teachers comments on language issues and problems
Classroom observations and analyses of transcripts
Strategies for classroom action
Principles of teaching and learning English as an additional language

Strategies for Classroom Action


After observations and discussions, teachers tried to
offer conscious and explicit positioning of
key information, including instructions
and topic information, in classroom discourse
For example, the mathematics teacher set
up clear and explicit classroom rules for talk
to avoid being interrupted by pupils demands
at times when she was giving key information. She made efforts to isolate key information, such as instructions, in her talk and to
make sure that all pupils were paying attention at key points.
highlight the delivery of such information
with visual aids and graphics
Simple board drawings or diagrams held
the attention of pupils to the teacher and her
information.
make the status of key information, such as
instructions, explicit through gradually
increasing use of metalanguage, for example:
The topic of todays lesson is ....

plan the transfer of instructional language


from reception to production, so that
pupils can themselves use instructional
language
For instance, in a Year 10 information
technology (IT) class, including many children with low levels of literacy, pupils
instructed each other in pairs on the use of a
simple word processing program. This gave
pupils the chance to use instructional language themselves.

Principles We Drew From Our


Onsite Work
Instructions are part of the joint undertaking of learners and teachers that is classroom learning.
There should be expectations on both sides
about the importance of instructions: that
teachers give instructions when and
because they matter; that learners should
expect to know when instructions are
being given and expect to understand
instructions adequately before moving into
a task.

Answering Questions With


Single Words
Teacher Views
Teachers of subjects across the curriculum
reported that learners tended to answer their
questions with single words or silence.

Classroom Observations
Very often teacher questions were
answered with single words or silence.
Some teacher questions were very difficult
to answer without time to think.
For example, a science teacher asked Year
8 pupils, If we have a food chain or food
web, what are we actually showing? What do
we actually mean?
Teachers often accepted single word
responses as adequate.
If a learner were struggling to find or construct an answer, the teacher would often
move on to another pupil rather than wait.
If single word responses were expanded
by the teacher in feedback, the learner seldom reproduced that expanded answer.
From the research in second language
acquisition, we know that when responding to
questions, bilingual pupils acquiring EAL are
faced with different processing demands from
those of English L1 pupils. Producing a
response in L2 requires lexical retrieval and
syntactic planning that may need time. The
skills to produce an expanded response, after
one modeled by the teacher, cannot be
assumed in L2. Skilled production in L2
requires practice in producing L2, and production can itself lead to development in
accuracy (Lightbown & Spada, 1994; Swain,
1995), and many L2 learners can only get
such practice and feedback in the classroom.
Supporting action from teachers may thus be
required to help learners move beyond singleword answers and arrive at more extended L2
output.

Strategies for Classroom Action


Based on knowledge of the second language acquisition process, teachers tried to
increase wait time after asking questions
The art teacher in the first group of teachers adopted this strategy. She recounted
graphically how difficult she found it to ask a
question and wait longer than she usually did
for an answer: The sweat was pouring off
me! Even such apparently simple changes in
behavior are not easy to achieve, being rooted
deeply in our views of how we talk in social
groups.
build preparation time and rehearsal into
questioning on some tasks
For example, teachers should give pupils
time (and a reason) to discuss answers in
Autumn 1997

27

pairs, before giving answers in front of the


whole class.
be explicit about what is wanted, and
make sure teacher talk includes modeling
of extended responses
The IT teacher explained to his Year 10
class that he wanted them to guess if they did
not know an answer, and praised them when
they did this. This was important for pupils
who otherwise might not risk the embarrassment of giving a wrong answer publicly.
alter task structure in order to generate
opportunities for extended utterances and
different types of questions
give feedback on form as well as meaning, perhaps in preparation or rehearsal
time; the written form being used to support oral output
For example, Year 10 pupils prepared, in
writing, a talk they were to present to the
class on how they spend their leisure time.
This was an excellent opportunity for
extended talk, but the task could have been
adjusted so that teacher and pupils could also
have worked on the accuracy of the English
at the preparation stage, and they could have
practiced speaking with the support of the
written text before the actual presentation.

Principles We Drew From Our


Experience in These Classrooms
There should be joint expectation of participation in lessons: Teachers ask questions and provide conditions that enable
pupil response; pupils try to answer
teacher questions.
Learners and teachers should understand
clearly the usefulness of different types of
questions for checking, learning subject
content, and developing second language
competence.
Questions and responses are potentially
important sites of language development.
For continuing language development,
EAL pupils need to use English, and, in
the majority of secondary classrooms, one
of the major opportunities for pupil talk is
in responding to teacher questions.

Classroom Observations
There were gaps in everyday and technical vocabulary (although empirical
research is still needed to explore the
extent of these gaps).
Learners had developed strategies to cope
with these gaps, for example, using a near
word, van, for minibus; or a general word,
thing, for specific item, needle.
Teachers often simplified the vocabulary
used in their talk and their worksheets,
sometimes simplifying too much.
When new words were encountered in
classroom discourse, teachers often aimed
for understanding but did not push language
development forward into production.
The word protractor was clearly
explained to pupils as used for measuring
angles, but no pupil actually used the word
protractor in that lesson. Again EAL development differs from L1 in the development
of vocabulary, although the manifestations in
the classroom may be similar (e.g., ignorance
of appropriate word). There is clear evidence
that there is a vocabulary learning threshold
at about 2,000 words (Nation, 1990), at
which most nontechnical texts can be read,
and beyond which it becomes easier to learn
words of the sort needed in secondary education superordinates, hyponyms, and so on.

Strategies We Recommended for


Classroom Action
Insist on searching for the most appropriate word for particular meanings, and support learners attempts to do so.
The design technology teacher was very
skillful in use of correct terms when explaining and demonstrating. He thought about the
key technical terms while planning a lesson
and made sure to use them several times.
Provide meaningful, supported input that
extends receptive vocabulary.
In a sewing lesson, a teacher devised a
worksheet on parts of the sewing machine,
made sure that she used the terms in her

demonstration, and had the pupils use them


in explanation.
Include activities that draw attention to
key words.
Include short but frequent activities in
subject classrooms to practice recall and
production of words and meanings.
Offer explicit, and planned, work on
vocabulary across the curriculum, for
example, in English lessons, on the structure and meaning of English words.
In a drama lesson with Year 9 pupils
involving the construction of short sketches,
pupils made use of the vocabulary they heard
in other pupils demonstrations.
Provide opportunities and strategies to
find out the meaning of new words.
Model the uses of language that will help
learners ask for clarification from teacher
or peers.

Principles Established
Teachers and learners should expect the
use of the most appropriate word, and
increasing specificity to express shades of
meaning.
Learners should expect to understand all,
or most, of the words they encounter, and
continue to learn words.
Teachers need to take account of the fact
that the learning of new words requires
multiple exposure in meaningful contexts,
practice at using the words in purposeful
tasks, and corrective feedback.
Lack of vocabulary in the L2 does not
necessarily imply lack of understanding or
lack of experience.

Implications and Summary


Learners problems reported by teachers
often appeared in practice to be generated or
added to by the classroom practices of teachers themselves, in a process of joint construction. Neither teachers nor learners can be
blamed for this: Classroom interaction is
complex, and teachers seldom have the

Lack of Necessary Vocabulary


Teacher Views

EAL learners often have surprising gaps in their

Some of our teachers reported that EAL


learners, and often L1 pupils too, do not have
the technical words they need for a range of
curriculum subjects. In addition, EAL learners often have surprising gaps in their everyday vocabulary: The home economics
teacher reported how many children did not
know words such as bake or grill because, of
course, such everyday processes are talked
about in the L1 in pupils homes.

everyday vocabulary: The home economics

28 TESOL JOURNAL

teacher reported how many children did not


know words such as bake or grill because, of
course, such everyday processes are talke d
about in the L1 in pupils homes.

Classroom interaction is complex, and teachers


seldom have the opportunity to stand back and
analyze it critically. The teachers in this project
highlighted the chance to do exactly this as
one of its most useful aspects.

opportunity to stand back and analyze it critically. The teachers in this project highlighted
the chance to do exactly this as one of its
most useful aspects.
This project experience suggests that inservice education may generate change in
classroom practices more effectively if teachers are given opportunities and tools to examine their practices critically , and if such
discussion is informed by knowledge about
language development and the nature of
English. Relevant knowledge and skills are
summarized briefly below; they are underpinned by teachers attitudes, sometimes
expressed in personal views and often apparently manifested in expectations about
learner performance and potential.

Knowledge About Language


Development
In order to contribute to learners language development in mainstream classrooms, teachers need an understanding of the
processes of second language development
and of the specific needs of pupils, including
the importance of setting appropriate linguistic demands so that learners have the
chance, and are required, to make full use
of their English and thus to build up their
language skills
structuring tasks that combine such
demands with support for understanding
and production, and that are sufficient but
do not reduce demands too much
the nature of the move from receptive to
productive language skills
the role of modeling of new language, of
practice, of feedback on language form
detailed knowledge of the language, literacy, and educational backgrounds of
pupils, and of the range of levels of comprehension and use of English of pupils in
the classes they teach.

Teaching Skills for Language


Development
Regular classroom skills such as checking

understanding and questioning techniques


may have different requirements and parameters when they are used in the context of
additional/second language development.
Teacher development must therefore be concerned with adjusting mainstream teachers
skills for these purposes and contexts, in the
light of increased sensitivity about how language is used in classrooms for interaction,
for the transmission of information, and for
learning.

Attitudes and Expectations


The teacher comments I used as starting
points in the previous section reflect to some
extent personal views, and a key aim of inservice development should be to deepen and
refocus those personal theories. In particular,
teachers need to understand the complexity
present in student behavior, for example
through increased understanding of crosscultural pragmatics. Attitudes can be made
manifest in expectations, and a major issue in
this project was, we suspected, the expectations held about the potential and abilities of
some groups of bilingual pupils. It was not
only teachers who seemed to hold rather low
expectations of learners performance and
participation levels; it was also the wider
school, parents, and learners themselves. For
example, teachers and pupils often did not
expect homework to be completed; pupils
would come to school without appropriate
pens and pencils. Work on successful schools
(Maden, 1995) shows that increasing teacher
and learner expectations of participation and
learning outcomes can lead to higher levels
of achievementthere is a need for unwavering optimism.

Increased Knowledge and


Skills of University Staff
In the processes of observation and analysis of classroom activity, the university staff
became more aware of the complexity of
second language development in the mainstream and its relation to teachers use of
language. Interpreting this complexity has

required the development of new ways of


analyzing interaction that operate with the
contextual dimensions of classroom tasks
and focus on language in use in order to
trace the subtle links between language use,
language development, and learning
(Cameron, 1996). Much work remains to be
done on analytic tools, but, as university
staff, we have been privileged to have been
able to develop them in this project with the
opportunity to test out our inferences and
assumptions with practicing teachers. The
collaboration between higher education and
the school in the teacher development project I have described has worked toward
increasing understanding of classroom
action and interaction. Through this collaborative process of coming to understand classroom practices, we hope also to have
identified ways in which classroom action
and interaction may be developed by teachers in order to maximize opportunities for
the language development of EAL learners.

Acknowledgments
This article is a revised version of
Developing English Language Skills in the
Mainstream: Issues From a Teacher
Development Project. Paper presented at the
Conference of the National Association for
Language Development in the Curriculum
(NALDIC), Aston University, in November
1995 in England. I acknowledge the contributions of colleagues Jayne Moon and
Martin Bygate to the development of ideas
expressed in this article.

Notes
1In England, the term English as an additional language is increasingly preferred to
English as a second language.
2 The initial agreement between school
and university included permission for
anonymous use of data for research and
writing. As always, I am grateful to the
school, teachers and pupils for this permission, and for their enthusiastic participation
in the project.

References
Cameron, L., Moon, J., & Bygate, M.
(1996). Language development in the mainstream: How do teachers and pupils use language? Language and Education, 10,
221-236.
Cameron, L. J. (1996, November).
Analysing pupils talk on classroom tasks.
Paper presented at the Conference of the
National Association for Language
Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC),
University of Staffordshire, England.

Autumn 1997

29

Development in the Curriculum (NALDIC),


University of Staffordshire, England.
Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (1994). Focus
on form and corrective feedback in communicative language teaching: Effects on second
language learning. Studies in Second
Language Acquisition 12, 429-448.
Maden, M. (Ed.). (1995). Success against
the odds-Effective schools in disadvantaged
areas. London: Routledge
Nation, P. (1990). Teaching and learning
vocabulary. New York: Heinle & Heinle.
Richards, J. C. (1996). Teachers maxims
in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 30,
281-296.
Swain, M. (1995). Three functions of output in second language learning. In G. Cook
& B. Seidlhofer (Eds.), Principle and practice
i n a p p l i e d l i n g u i s t i c s . Oxford: Oxford
University Press.

Author
Lynne J. Cameron is a lecturer and head
of undergraduate courses in the School of
Education, University of Leeds, in England.
She has worked with teachers of English as a
first, second, and foreign language on preand in-service courses. Her research interests
include the development of English language
skills of bilingual pupils, and metaphor in
educational discourse.

Collaboration, Reflection,
and Professional Growth: A
Mentoring Program for
Adult ESL Teachers
Alan Seaman, Barry Sweeny, Pamela Meadows, and Marilyn Sweeny

teacher in an adult ESL program,


Carol, completes her morning
classes at 11:30 and eats lunch
before heading off to a local
factory to teach workplace ESL
students in the afternoon. She sees her fellow
teachers at faculty meetings and sometimes
chats with another teacher over a cup of coffee during a class break. Although she loves
the mix of students in her classes, she wonders about the isolation she feels as a parttime ESL instructor.
During the course of her day, Carol
encounters students from an array of language backgrounds from Spanish to
Bosnian to Gujaratiwho range in age from
teenagers to senior citizens. Some of these
students have earned professional degrees,
while others have little education. Their varied learning styles, economic levels, and
motivations for learning English add to the
complexity of the classroom. In addition,
Carol must shift between a life skills and literacy curriculum in her morning classes to a
more specialized workplace curriculum in the
afternoons. The remarkable diversity of students in adult ESL classrooms highlights the
need for teachers who are growing professionally all the time and experimenting with
a wide range of techniques and skills to pursue professional development so that they

can meet the needs of these learners.


How can ESL teachers such as Carol, with
their harried schedules, grow professionally
beyond attending the occasional in-service
presentation or conference? Is it realistic to
expect adult ESL teachers to take time to
write in journals about their teaching, to have
other teachers observe their classrooms, and
to engage in discussions about what they do
in the classroom?
We think that the answer to these questions is yesif teachers are given specific
expectations and support for professional
development by the agencies and institutions
that have hired them. With the realities faced
by adult ESL teachers in mind, we have created a professional mentoring program that is
practical, involves a short time commitment,
and makes a difference in the quality of
teaching.
The importance of professional development programs in adult ESL has been emphasized by Crandall (1993), who advocates an
approach that combines the mentoring
model with the applied science and
reflective practice models (pp. 505-512).
Crandall describes an exciting culture of professional growth in adult ESL programs
where beginning teachers would have
opportunities to learn from their experiences
and other teachers could serve as mentors,

conduct research related to their own classes


and practice, and reflect upon and share their
experiences with one another (p. 512).
Although Crandall is describing agencies that
are linked to teacher education schools, we
think these principles can also be applied to
individual adult ESL programs.
We have attempted to put Crandalls
approach into practice by creating a mentoring program for adult ESL teachers in a particular contextclasses offered through
World Relief Refugee Services in Wheaton,
Illinois, a suburb of Chicagowith the hope
that the program might be helpful to educators in other contexts. Funded by a grant, this
mentoring approach was created by a team
consisting of an administrator, a mentoring
specialist, two teachers, and a teacher educator. Our goal was to promote professional
growth by connecting experienced teachers
with each other and with newer teachers, and
by encouraging these teachers to target specific areas for reflection and improvement.
Teachers with varying degrees of experience
may participate in the mentoring program as
shown in the sidebar on page 32.

How the Program Works


The professional development program
we devised has three fundamental characteristics. First, it deals primarily with the
Autumn 1997

31

Mentoring Strategies for Differing Experience Levels


Hiring
Program
Director
provides
orientation
to program

Mentor provides
orientation to the
site and curriculum

Building a
mentoring
relationship

Mentoring using
the ESL instructional
program including
mentor coaching

A possible
peer
coaching
relationship

A beginning-level ESL teacher with no previous experience

A new ESL teacher with previous experience

An experienced ESL teacher

dynamics of classroom instructionthe practices used by teachers in planning and implementing lessons. Instead of presenting
teaching techniques or specific methods such
as Total Physical Response, this program
concentrates on the basic elements of language teaching that are important regardless
of the context or approach. These elements
include features of everyday teaching such as
the patterns of interaction in the classroom,
the beginning and ending of a lesson, the
ways in which students are grouped, and
assessment of student progress. Teachers can
choose specific areas to focus upon from 26
categories organized into four dimensions:
planning, interaction, management, and
classroom climate (see sidebar on page 33).
In addition, this program emphasizes several practices increasingly identified as
important to professional development:
reflective journaling, discussion with peers,
and classroom observation. In a guidebook
entitled Effective Practices in Teaching
English as a Second Language,* we offered
our teachers a structured approach that
includes clear definitions for each category,
questions to guide reflection and discussion,
and a variety of forms to use for observation,
data collection, and analysis. To provide
material for the teachers to think about, we
chose to use Richards and Lockharts (1994)
Reflective Teaching in Second Language
Classrooms as the basis for journaling and
discussion. For categories not covered in the
Richards and Lockhart book, we wrote a
series of short articles on current ideas in the
field of language teaching.
The third characteristic of this program is
a commitment to allow the protg, not the

32 TESOL JOURNAL

mentor, to control and direct the process of


professional development. Rather than dictating what her partner will do, the mentor
serves as a resource, by responding to the
questions and concerns of the protege, and as
a questioner who prompts reflection on
teaching. We feel strongly that it is important
for individual teachers to be responsible for
generating their own insights and understanding. The person who does the analysis is the
one who learns the most.
To see how this mentoring program
works, lets walk through the process with
Carol, the adult ESL teacher described earlier.
Carol begins the process by completing a
20-minute self-assessment that allows her to
identify areas of her teaching that she would
like to improve. Based on the self-assessment, she selects the category: patterns of
interaction. From this point on in the process,
Carol follows the action plan outlined in the
mentoring guidebook. She reads the description of effective teaching practices in this category and responds to several questions by
writing a preliminary journal entry that
begins with general reflections on her
classes:
I have larger classes this year than in
the past. Im used to teaching 10-12
students and giving each student at
least some attention during the class
period. Now I seem to average 20 or
so. When I saw the Questioning
Patterns category, I wondered how
well I was doing in this area in my current classes. Its such a challenge to
call on students equally when were
discussing an issue or theyre reporting

on a group task. I find that Im focusing on several students who are fairly
aggressive communicators and have
strong personalities ...
Several days later, Carol continues reflecting on her classroom practices by reading
several pages from the Richards and
Lockhart book and completing a more indepth journal entry that is guided by a series
of questions in the mentoring guidebook. In
this entry, she ponders how the diverse students in her classroom influence the ways in
which she asks questions:
I was intrigued by the categories of
students described in this section of the
book. Im blessed with plenty of taskoriented and social students in my
classes. Certainly, Luis, Maria, Meng,
and Shigeo stand out as involved, taskoriented people. Are they drawing my
attention away from the phantom
students, like Arturo, who seem to
blend into the background? ...
After completing her journal reflections,
Carol meets with her mentor another experienced teacher who works in a classroom
near hers in the mornings. As they talk for 30
minutes after class, Carol shares her reflections on her patterns of interaction in the
classroom, and the mentoring partner comments on her own approaches to questioning.
Carol sets some goals for her teaching, identifying procedures she wants to use, and the
two teachers schedule a time when Carols
class will be observed. During the observation, the mentoring partner will collect the
particular data on interaction patterns that
Carol has requested.
A week later, Carols mentor observes her
class for 25 minutes and completes an observation form (also available in the mentor
guidebook) with descriptive data (see sample, page 34).
The two teachers meet again for 20 minutes to discuss the observation data and
answer a final set of questions. In this final
session, it is important that the mentor not be
evaluative; her role is simply to provide the
protege with the information she collected.
The mentor then asks open-ended questions
to prompt Carols comparison of the
observed patterns with her intentions for the
lesson.
Where will Carol go from here? If the
observed patterns and her intentions do not
align, she may wish to continue to focus on
the category of interaction patterns with an
additional observation. Or she may teach for
several more months before continuing the
process with a different category. Either
way, Carol is conscious of the importance of
questioning patterns in her classrooman

awareness critical to long-term improvement.


Even more importantly, she has begun to
develop a valuable professional habit: She
continues to reflect about her teaching in her
journal once or twice a week.

The Importance of Mentor


Coaching
The process described in the previous section involves sensitivity and skill on the mentors part. The value of this approach to
professional development can be destroyed if
the mentor is overbearing, judgmental, insensitive, or evaluative. The mentor must work
to create a safe and supportive context for
growth in which both persons feel willing to
experiment and risk making mistakes. Their
relationship must be characterized by confidentiality, mutual respect, and a willingness
to learn from one another.
Because of these issues, we feel that it is
very important that the mentors participate in
a coaching session that focuses on the
dynamics of interpersonal communication.
Adapting a proven K-12 mentor education
program (Sweeny, 1994), we developed a set
of materials in a handbook entitled
Mentoring for ESL Teachers.* Our 6-hour
mentor coaching session is led by experienced adult ESL teachers and focuses on the
roles and tasks of a mentor and the nature of
the mentor/protege relationship. Through a
process that involves role playing, discussion, and observation of ESL classrooms on
videotape, the mentoring partners gain a
practical sense of how they should communicate through the observation forms and discussion sessions. They also develop a shared
vocabulary about classroom instructiona
set of terms and concepts that is held in common. We think that this type of mentoring
education is critical to the success of any professional development program that involves
some form of mentoring.

Practical Considerations for


Implementing a Mentoring
Program
As we have begun to implement the mentoring program with a group of adult ESL
teachers, we have become aware of a number
of practical issues.
First, our teachers are busy. At the outset,
participating teachers need to understand that
the program involves a fairly limited amount
of timeperhaps a total of 2 hours spread
over several weeks for any one category.
Even though a teacher will not need to
improve in all 26 categories, the mentoring
process can extend over part of a year or
even several years, depending on the desires

of the teachers and program administrators.


But during any given period, the amount of
time devoted to this process must be realistic.
Our veteran teachers also needed to be
given a clear rationale for participating in this
type of program. By matching experienced
teachers in peer coaching relationships, we
wanted to encourage new forms of collaboration and openness to feedback among the
ESL faculty. This is never a simple transition, however. The value of practices such as
critical reflection on ones teaching and
observation by peers must be communicated
clearly, and the participating teachers need to
feel a sense of ownership in the program.
Hence, we have struggled with the paradox of trying to implement, in a top-down

contacting each teacher in order to advise,


answer questions, and model the observation
process. Based on our experience, we feel
that the mentoring coordinator plays a crucial
role when this type of program is being introduced for the first time within an organization.
Implementing a mentoring program with
newly hired teachers is generally easier. If
the mentoring process is woven into the fabric of the agency or institution, teacher-toteacher support becomes a normal
expectation along with other expectations
such as attendance at faculty meetings and
assessment of student progress. Participation
in a mentoring program can be added to the
contract given to teachers, and it can be dis-

The Four Dimensions of ESL Classroom Instruction


1. The planning dimension
articulating objectives: teaching
toward proficiency
selecting appropriate activities
contextualizing new structures and
vocabulary
sequencing activities within a lesson
recycling: Sequencing activities
between lessons
beginning and ending class
using textbooks and other instructional materials
creating autonomous language
learners
2. The interactive dimension
question types
questioning patterns
wait time
response to student interaction
feedback to errors

fashion, this progressive, teacher-centered


program. Experienced teachers who have
been isolated and have followed the same
schedule for years may view this type of program as one more thing I have to do until
they experience its positive benefits.
Similarly, experienced teachers who have
only seen observation as an evaluative tool
must be encouraged to shift their focus away
from the mind set of lets fix whats
wrong. They must learn to see mentoring or
peer coaching as the norm for all teachers,
rather than viewing it as simply what happens when corrective action needs to take
place.
We dealt with these practical issues by
designating one of the ESL teachers as the
mentoring coordinatorthe person within
the agency who is responsible for regularly

instruction and transitions


group and pair work
3. The management dimension
flexibilitythe ability to adapt lessons
consistency in dealing with student
problems
seating patterns and teacher position
the pacing of the lesson
assessment of student language use
4. The classroom climate dimension
atmosphere conducive to learning
teacher voice and language (verbal
and nonverbal)
level of student interest
energy level
understanding of cultural factors
learner-centered orientation

cussed in some detail during new teacher orientation.


In our experience, new teachers in adult
ESL programs do want to grow. Professional
growth and peer collaboration are often
important to inexperienced instructors, particularly those who have just graduated from
teacher education programs where they have
become familiar with mentoring and reflective journaling from teaching practicums and
internships. These valuable professional
habits need not be lost during the stresses of
the first year of teaching if programs expect
and support teacher development.

What We Have Learned


The process of constructing a professional
development program for adult ESL teachers
has taught us a great deal. We have learned
Autumn 1997

33

Sample Observation Form 2B


Questioning Patterns
Carol M.
_______________________

Teacher

Paul W.
______________________

Note

810 Hillside
_____________________________________

Classroom Location
Time

Mentor

9:30-10:00
_______________

June 22
_______________________

Date

FOCUS: Recording the patterns of interaction with the students


In the area below, draw a diagram of the seating arrangement of the classroom. During a
20- to 30-minute period that involves interaction between the teacher and the whole
class, record the number of times each student is called upon and the nature of the
interaction. Record this information onto the seating chart using the following symbols:

o = teacher asking the student a question

interaction with the teacher (the student asks a question or


= student-initiated
makes a comment)

x = student-to-student interaction
9 male students
8 female students

Teacher

ooo

oooxo

ooo

F
F

ox

oooo

xx

oxx
o

xooxx
F

o
F

that teachers want a program that is systematic but easy to understand and use. By field
testing the program as we developed it, we
tried to eliminate unnecessary educational jargon and unrealistic activities, creating what
we hope is a user-friendly approach. And we
have seen the value of careful preparation and
training in interpersonal communication for

34 TESOL JOURNAL

Acknowledgments
The mentoring program described in this
article was funded under a grant by the
Illinois NETWORK of Literacy/Adult
Resources. NETWORK funding is administered through the U.S. Department of
Education, Division of Adult Education and
Literacy, under the provisions of the Adult
Education Act as amended by the National
Literacy Act of 1991.

Crandall, J. (1993). Professionalism and


professionalization of adult ESL literacy.
TESOL Quarterly, 27, 497-516.
Richards, J., & Lockhart, C. (1994).
Reflective teaching in second language classrooms. New York: Cambridge University
Press.
Sweeny, B. (1994). Promoting the growth
of beginning teachers: A mentor training
manual. Wheaton, IL: Resources for Staff and
Organizational Development.

Authors

M
M

*Effective Practices in Teaching English


as a Second Language and Mentoring for ESL
Teachers may be ordered, at cost, by contacting Pamela Meadows at Education Program,
World Relief Refugee Services, 1028 College
Avenue, Suite A, Wheaton, Illinois 60187
USA (Tel 630- 462-7566).

References

x oo

blind spots in my teaching. It has been difficult to open up my classroom to a colleague,


but now Im gaining a sense of confidence
which outweighs the anxiety. Most of all, I
have an increased awareness of the importance of actively thinking about my teaching.

any teacher who wishes to serve as a mentor.


Implementing a professional development
program with a group of teachers in an
agency is a complex process, but one that is
well worth the effort. As one teacher recently
commented in a note, At first I had a lot of
reservations about participating in this, but
the program has helped me see past some

Alan Seaman is assistant professor of


TESL in the Graduate School at Wheaton
College, in Illinois, in the United States,
where he teaches a variety of courses and
supervises practicum internships.
Barry Sweeny is the staff development specialist with the Kane County Regional Office
of Education, in Illinois. He has written several books and has made numerous presentations on mentoring in education.
Pamela Meadows works as an adult ESL
instructor in addition to serving as assistant
to the director for the education program of
World Relief Refugee Services, in Illinois.
Marilyn Sweeny serves as the ESL director
for World Relief Refugee Services, which provides instruction for adult and workplace ESL
students in Illinois.

School-University
Partnerships to Promote
Science With Students
Learning English
Sandra H. Fradd, Okhee Lee, Pete Cabrera, Vivian del Rio, Amelia Leth, Rita Morin,
Marisela Ceballos, Maria Santalla, Lucille Cross, and Techeline Mathieu

... by the year 2006, America will provide all students in the country with
what should be their educational
birthright: access to competent, caring, and qualified teachers.
National Commission on Teaching and
Americas Future, 1996, p. 5)
The United States is engaged in a process
of educational reform. To contribute to this
process, the National Commission on
Teaching and Americas Future [NCTAF]
(1996) suggested two areas of reform:
what teachers know and can do
what they must learn to do
No subject area is in greater need of
teacher enhancement than science, yet little is
known about the process of science instruction in classrooms of K-12 students learning
English as a new language, and many elementary teachers lack the knowledge to teach
science effectively. Many also lack the
understanding to instruct students learning
English (American Association for the
Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1989;
Garcma, 1993; Lee, Fradd, & Sutman, 1995).
In order to meet increasing instructional
demands, teachers must develop the necessary expertise to offer high quality learning

opportunities in caring and supportive environments. This article describes the


teaching-learning process that occurred as
two university professors and eight 4th-grade
teachers worked together to promote science
instruction by building on the teachers
insights about their students languages and
cultures. We have focused on Hispanic and
Haitian teachers in 4th-grade classrooms in
which most students had been exited from
ESOL programs but were continuing to
develop academic language proficiency in
English.

The Importance of Effective


Science Instruction for All
Students
Fourth grade is a critical instructional
period for all students. It is particularly
important for students learning English. By
the 4th grade, oral classroom discourse typically takes on the characteristics of the
expository language of textbooks (Ruddell &
Ruddell, 1994). In science, 4th-grade students are expected to engage in inquiry by
making observations, proposing explanations, interpreting evidence, constructing and
organizing ideas, and communicating out-

comes (AAAS, 1993; National Research


Council [NRC], 1996). When students are
still developing their ability to communicate
effectively in questioning, describing, and
organizing information (Tough, 1986), they
may not easily engage in inquiry as proposed
by science reform documents (AAAS, 1993;
NRC, 1996). Using hands-on activities, science instruction offers experiences through
which students can learn to predict, observe,
record, and report outcomes. These
context-embedded experiences can encourage the development of scientific ways of
thinking, reasoning, valuing, and demonstrating understanding (Lemke, 1990).
While fostering new ways of thinking and
communicating in science, such activities can
also build on students prior knowledge and
cultural understanding. By using multiple
representational formats, including drawings,
graphs, pictorial sequence cards, and tables,
in combination with simple writing activities,
students can demonstrate their understanding
of science in a variety of ways that do not
depend on English proficiency (Fradd & Lee,
1995; Lee & Fradd, 1996).
Although seldom associated with science
instruction, language and culture can play a
key role in science instruction.

Autumn 1997

35

Using the teachers manuals developed by the project as instructional guides, the
teachers were encouraged to teach in ways that promoted cultural congruence.

Cultural congruence refers to interpersonal interactions that encourage positive


affect and understanding when people share
the same language and culture (Au &
Kawakami, 1994). Cultural congruence has
also been referred to as a dance in which
everyone who shares the same language and
culture knows the music, the rhythm, and the
steps (Carrasco, Acosta, & de la
Torre-Spencer, 1992). Although there are
variations and degrees of effectiveness, cultural congruence has been found to promote
students effective engagement in instruction
(Trueba & Wright, 1992). For students with
limited exposure to science, having teachers
who understand how to build on their prior
experiences can be an important strength for
encouraging engagement and achievement.
Insights generated by understanding how
teachers and students who share the same
language and culture interact in science
instruction can be used to foster effective science instruction with diverse groups of teachers and students.

The Context for Our SchoolUniversity Partnership


Although science for all Americans
(AAAS, 1989) has been a focus of science
reform for nearly a decade, access to meaningful science instruction has remained an
illusive promise, rather than a reality, for
many students. In order to fulfill the promise
of science for all, teachers and university
researchers in a large urban South Florida
school district have been learning how to
provide effective science instruction.
Through the Promise Project, a 3-year
effort (1995-1998) with National Science
Foundation support, we have been promoting
literacy development, English language proficiency, and science learning. Although the
project includes some monolingual
English-speaking students, the focus has
been on Hispanic and Haitian students, two
groups who have typically not achieved well

in science (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,


1996).

Diverse Group of Students


and Teachers
The Promise Project has been engaged in
its second-year activities with 11 teachers,
two researchers, and more than 250 students.
Eight 4th-grade classroom teachers, two
ESOL teachers, and one teacher of students
with learning disabilities participated. All but
one of the eight classroom teachers shared
the languages and cultures of their students
(Spanish or Haitian Creole) as well as
English. Two of the schools were located in
urban areas characterized by low socioeconomic levels and limited access to educational resources. The other two had a
predominance of middle-class families.
The sample contained mostly newly
arrived students learning English, though
some were born in the United States.
Although the majority were no longer in
ESOL programs, most continued to need
instructional modifications and support in
English in order to participate in the
4th-grade curriculum. Because the schools
used an inclusion model, in addition to taking
into account learning differences in terms of
students languages and cultures, the sample
included a significant portion of students
enrolled in exceptional education programs,
from gifted to learning disabled and communicatively disordered.

Customized Instructional
Units
The instructional materials Fradd and Lee
developed were designed to meet state and
district curriculum frameworks and 4th-grade
science objectives. Instruction for the second
year of the project included two science
units: 8 lessons on changes in states of matter
and 16 lessons on weather. Instruction with
these units began in September and was com-

pleted in February. Consistent with the recent


science reform, the units emphasized scientific understanding, inquiry, big ideas,
(e.g., systems and patterns of change in the
water cycle and weather phenomena), and
habits of mind (AAAS, 1989, 1993; NRC,
1996). Each lesson required at least one hour
of instructional time, and many required
more than 2 hours to complete. Adaptations
were made for the various groups of students.
For students with little English proficiency, teachers moved back and forth
between English and the students home language, translating and restating ideas in different ways. Many different ability levels and
special instructional needs were accommodated through hands-on activities to promote
active engagement. Discussion of the activities often required additional class periods to
ensure that students comprehended the concepts through the activities.
Moving from the more concrete to the
more abstract, the content was organized so
that each lesson provided background knowledge for the next. While integrating mathematics and language arts together with
science and language learning, the hands-on
activities and demonstrations emphasized
key science concepts and big ideas (see sidebar, page 37).
Most lessons began with an introductory
scaffolding and concluded with a summary.
During the introductory portion of the lesson,
teachers frequently defined and contextualized vocabulary, stressing the importance of
precise communication. Throughout the discussion of the activities, teachers focused on
sense-making and understanding.

Tailored Workshops to
Integrate Language and
Culture in Science Lessons
Before starting each of the two units,
teachers participated in a full-day workshop
focusing on science content and activities.

Teachers also used terms and phrases with which the students were familiar. For
example, in introducing the use of the thermometer with Celsius and Fahrenheit
scales, the teachers often referred to the bilingual thermometers as being bilingual
like we are, with two systems for measuring and comm unicating.

36 TESOL JOURNAL

Sample Lesson on Changes of States of Matter and the Water Cycle


Lesson goal and objectives
Goal:

Enable students to comprehend big ideas in science

For Science
Objective 1:
Objective 2:
Objective 3:

Observe the development of the water cycle in simulation activities


Identify the components of the water cycle process
Recognize similarities and differences between simulations and the natural water cycle

For Language
Objective 1:

Enable students to recognize similarities and differences in words evaporate, condense, and precipitate and evaporation, condensation, and precipitation as they are used as verbs and nouns
Accurately use these words in discussing the water cycle

Objective 2:

Background information

Instructional tips

This is a culminating lesson for the Changes of States of Matter


unit. In previous lessons the students have learned about the components of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. They have observed changes in the states of matter, for
example, how water evaporates into water vapor when it is heated,
such as in a hot pot, and how the water vapor condenses back to a
liquid when it touches something cold, such as a glass lid.

1. When placing the hot water in the bottom cup, be sure that the top
cup is immediately placed on the bottom cup so that the water
vapor remains inside the two cups.
2. If the ice above the cup is made of colored water, students can
observe whether the water droplets come from water that leaks
through the outside top of the cup or from water vapor that condenses from inside the cup. (Many students think the drops come
from the melted ice seeping through the top. However, when the
ice and ice water are colored and the droplets in the top of the cup
are clear, they realize that condensation is occurring inside the
cup, not from water outside the cup. This understanding is important in developing the concept of a cycle.)

Lesson activity
Students can work in small
groups to observe the process of
the water cycle inside two clear
sealed cups. They should be
encouraged to notice the changes
that occur as hot water is placed in
the bottom cup, the cup is enclosed
with another cup, and ice is placed
on top of the two sealed cups. First,
hot water in the bottom cup evaporates into water vapor and rises to
the top. The water vapor, in contact with the cold surface of the
upper cup, condenses into smaller
droplets of water on the sides and
top of the upper cup. The water
droplets become bigger and finally
fall to the bottom of the cup, like
rain.

Follow-up discussion and activity


After the students have observed the water cycle in the cup, they
can identify similarities between the water cycle formed by: (a) boiling water, and (b) the water in the cups. They should be able to use
the verbs, evaporate, condense, and precipitate and the nouns, evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. They may also need assistance with positional words, such as inside, outside, on top of, at the
bottom, on the sides. When students are aware of the relationship
between heating and evaporation and between cooling and condensation, they can compare similarities and differences between the two
simulations of the water cycle and the one that occurs in nature.
They may also answer the following questions:

How are the simulations of the water cycle and the natural water cycle

similar?

___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________

different? ___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________

Autumn 1997

37

The teachers engaged in the science activities


they would be using with their students, discussed key science concepts and big ideas,
and shared teaching strategies and adaptations to be used with their students. During
these sessions, the development of cultural
congruence and the use of students native
language were discussed.
Using the teachers manuals developed by
the project as instructional guides, the teachers were encouraged to teach in ways that
promoted cultural congruence. As teachers
became more familiar with science content,
they began to interject their own insights
about effective science instruction for their
students. Initially they were reluctant to use
students home languages. When they
became aware of cultural similarities and differences between themselves and their students, they recognized that shared languages
and cultures were important strengths to be
used during instruction.

Classroom Observations
and Teacher Interviews
The researchers visited the classrooms
throughout the instructional process to document how teachers and students engaged in
science instruction and how teachers promoted students understanding. The
researchers also engaged in informal interviews and conversations with teachers, often
after science lessons, to gather the teachers
insights into the instructional process.
At the conclusion of the two units, the
teachers were interviewed to determine how
they had changed and to identify aspects of
the instructional process that were particularly important to them. These formal and
informal interactions were useful for obtaining teachers insights, for encouraging them
to reflect on their own instruction, and for
identifying changes in the ways they made
science meaningful for their students.

Teachers Insights: Science


Instruction
In reflecting on what they could do and
what they hoped to be able to do, teachers
identified important ways that they had
changed. Throughout the instructional pro-

cess, the teachers confirmed, both individually and as a group, that they were already
aware of some effective ways to meet their
students instructional needs; they learned
others while sharing and collaborating within
the project. Two interesting insights were the
teachers desire for more concrete knowledge
of science and their realization of the importance of building linguistic and cultural links
into their science lessons.
After they had become comfortable with
the researchers, most of the teachers
expressed, at one time or another, that they
did not feel adequately prepared to teach science. Some, such as the three teachers quoted
below, were frank and open about their limitations and their need to learn more:
Teacher 1: I used to hate science, and I
still do. But now I know I can learn
it. I can enjoy it. And more importantly, I can teach it.
Teacher 2: The students see me learning science along with them, and
they appreciate the effort that I
make to help them learn.
Teacher 3: Without the support you
have provided, I would have
stopped participating in the Project.
Before I knew you, I used to write
out exactly what I would say to the
students and then I would memorize
it to make sure that I had everything
right. Even though I didnt want
them to notice, the students could
tell that I didnt know too much
about science. Now, I realize that
my way of teaching left little opportunity to focus on students understanding, or to be flexible in
guiding and enabling them to enjoy
and understand science.
As teachers gained an understanding of
effective science instruction, they also
enabled their students to recognize important
aspects of science learning. In the following
example, a teacher described how his
increased understanding of big ideas in science helped his students generalize their
newly acquired knowledge to other subject
areas:
Once students see and understand a
process as a system and a cycle, they

can identify patterns and relationships


in many other events. I see that happening with my students. Now that
they understand the water cycle and
the weather system, they have noticed
that long division is also a cycle and a
system. They can enumerate the steps
in the process and feel comfortable
working with it. Learning about the
systems that occur in nature makes
learning in other areas, such as long
division, easier.

Teachers Insights: Culture


and Language in Science
Instruction
For many teachers, recognizing specific
shared understandings with their students
was central to the students willingness to
participate and to learn.

Culture
The teachers told us that prior to their participation in the project, they had not heard of
the notion of cultural congruence and never
actively considered the ways that culture
could influence science instruction. In
reflecting on cultural similarities, one teacher
said:
I really hadnt thought about the way I
teach as being different from the way
that other people teach. Ive never
worked with any other group of students, only those at this school. Now, I
am becoming aware of how culture
influences communication styles. I
realize that when I want to make a
point, I get very dramatic. I move my
hands a lot. I gesture and I get close to
the students. Ive noticed that is a natural way for me. And its natural for my
students too. Now, when I am in a
group, I am more aware of ways people from different cultures communicate. I realize that by moving my hands
and being very dramatic, I can be distracting for some people, even though
it seems to help me communicate with
my students. I realize that I need to
adapt the way I interact to meet the situation.

To their surprise, the teachers fo und that the more they comm unicated with students
in Spanish or Creole, including terms, phrases, and full discourse, the more they were
able to make instruction meaningful and relevant, and the more effectively the
students responded.

38 TESOL JOURNAL

When teachers acknowledged students responses, they tended to look at and to


touch the students when the students did well, as if to say, I am with you.
You are doing it.

Another said:
Because we share our students experiences, we know more or less what they
have been exposed to. We realize that
many of the experiences that other
teachers take for granted, these students
have not had. We realize that we have
to make adjustments in order to meet
their needs.
Some teachers incorporated their understanding of cultural congruence to promote
science learning with their students, even
though they were aware that such practices
might be inconsistent with mainstream
approaches. One teacher described her effort
as follows:
At the beginning of the year, I had all
the students working in small groups
doing their science activities. In a science methods class, I had been taught
to set up groups like that to promote
cooperation and inquiry. When students
worked in little groups, I realized that
they really did not understand what
they were doing. They didnt seem to
know how to pay attention and didnt
follow along. As the year progressed, I
could see that the students learned better when we did things as a whole
group. I know how to help them focus
and follow directions. I know that some
people would frown on the way Ive
moved from small group to whole
group instruction, but I can see a big
difference in the way the students pay
attention and respond. They are used to
being told what to do. I know that I
must help them learn to work independently, but it is also important for them
to be successful at what they are doing
and motivated to keep on learning.

Language
Teachers used students language experiences in science instruction in different ways.
One way was to use the home language to
communicate key science concepts.
Frequently teachers talked about special
events or specific experiences that the students had at home. When the teachers invited
student ideas, students generally responded
with enthusiasm and excitement, even when
these examples related to simple, daily activities. For example, in a lesson on evaporation,

a teacher asked a question in class, When


your father is shaving in the morning, he
looks at himself in the mirror and blows his
breath on the mirror, what does he see? in
Spanish. The students enthusiastically
responded, vapor. The teacher said,
Exactly, vapor in Spanish is vapor, water
vapor in English. Think about it, vapor is the
key word for e -vapor-ation in English.
Language associations were also used to
enhance clarification and comprehension. For
example, a science activity for condensation
involved observing the differences on the outside of two cups, one with cold water and the
other with tap water. The students were asked
to describe what they saw above and below
the water line of each cup. Recognizing the
students difficulty in following the directions, a teacher made associations among
related words: above-below, up-down,
upper-lower, over-under, and top-bottom. By
offering alternative words with similar meanings and associating them with specific locations on the cups, this exercise helped
students accurately comprehend the position
words while conducting the science activity.
Similarly, in discussion on temperature
changes, students learned to make comparisons with activities using cold, colder, coldest and warm, warmer, and warmest.
Teachers also used terms and phrases with
which the students were familiar. For example, in introducing the use of the thermometer
with Celsius and Fahrenheit scales, the teachers often referred to the bilingual thermometers as being bilingual like we are, with two
systems for measuring and communicating.
These ways of teaching and organizing
occurred across classrooms and schools.
Initially, all of the teachers, except those
with students at the lowest levels of English
proficiency, were reluctant to use any language but English. As teachers began to consider ways to enhance science instruction,
they decided to experiment with their students home languages. To their surprise, the
teachers found that the more they communicated with students in Spanish or Creole,
including terms, phrases, and full discourse,
the more they were able to make instruction
meaningful and relevant, and the more effectively the students responded.
Changes in students responses could be
observed not just in immediate reactions, but

also in long-term changes as students became


more attentive and focused on instruction.
When a newspaper reporter came to observe
science instruction and write an article about
the project, she too noted the role of culture
and language (Santiago, 1996). She observed
that the teachers often acted as parents for the
students. For example, when teachers
acknowledged students responses, they
tended to look at and to touch the students
when the students did well, as if to say, I am
with you. You are doing it. When students
missed answers, teachers tended to touch the
students in ways that said, Its OK, well try
again. The reporter also observed students
enthusiastic responses to teachers when the
teachers used key science terms in Hispanic
or Haitian Creole before explaining the terms
in English.

What All of Us Learned


The school-university partnership involved
teacher professional development to promote
literacy development, English language proficiency, and science learning. This effort is
consistent with current science education
reform (AAAS, 1989, 1993; NRC, 1996) and
recommendations by the NCTAF (1996).
Teachers and researchers gained insights
through the process.
Teachers growth occurred as they learned
more about science and how to make instruction meaningful for students with little exposure to formal science instruction. In addition,
they developed an awareness of their own
strengths in identifying and addressing students needs. Although they had been doing it
informally, they recognized that they had
many valuable insights about their students
prior experiences and knew effective ways to
organize instruction. They also realized that
the languages students brought to school were
valuable in promoting engagement and understanding. It is evident that teachers require a
level of subject-matter expertise to be able to
provide effective instruction. When teachers
have not received the necessary preparation,
they must be provided with opportunities to
develop on-the-job knowledge. Such development requires commitment and environments
where teachers can talk about what they know
and what they have yet to learn without
penalty. They also need encouragement in
recognizing their own strengths as well as

Autumn 1997

39

support to build their knowledge.


The researchers gained important insights
about how to enhance science instruction.
They observed many ways that teachers promoted students language development while
simultaneously enhancing science learning.
They became aware of their strengths in supporting teachers growth, as well as areas for
further understanding and improvement. The
relationship between the researchers and the
teachers was reciprocal, as they raised questions, challenged each others assumptions.
and confirmed each others understandings.
Both teachers and researchers recognized that
science instruction cannot be separated from
issues of language and culture. As teachers
built on what they knew to do well, they
learned more about science. The researchers
gained insights for promoting language and
science learning. The teachers and the
researchers together have contributed to making the promise of science for all a reality.

References
American
for
Association
the
Advancement of Science. (1989). Science for
all Americans. Washington, DC: Author.
Association
for
American
the
Advancement
of Science.
(1993).
Benchmarks for science literacy. Washington.
DC: Author.
Au, K., & Kawakami, A. J. (1994).
Cultural congruence in instruction. In E. R.
Hollins. J. E. King, & W. C. Hayman (Eds.),
Teaching diverse populations: Formulating a
knowledge base (pp. 5-24). Albany, NY: State
University of New York Press.
Carrasco, R. L., Acosta, C. T., & de la
Torre-Spencer, S. (1992). Language use, lesson engagement, and participation structures:
A microethnographic analysis of two language arts lessons in a bilingual first-grade
classroom. In M. Sardvia-Shore & S. Arvizu
(Eds.), Cross-cultural literacy: Ethnographies
of communication in multiethnic classrooms
(pp. 391-441). New York: Garland.
Fradd, S. H., & Lee, O. (1995). Science
for all: A promise or a pipe dream? The
Bilingual Research Journal, 19, 261-278.
Garcma, E. E. (1993). Language, culture,
and education. In L. Darling-Hammond (Ed.),
Review of research in education (vol. 19) (pp.
51-98). Washington, DC: American
Educational Research Association.
Lee, O., & Fradd, S. H. (1996). Literacy
skills in science performance among culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Science Education, 80, 651-671.
Lee, O., Fradd, S. H., & Sutman, F. X.
(1995). Science knowledge and cognitive
strategy use among culturally and linguistically diverse students. Journal of Research in

Science Teaching, 32, 797-816.


Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science:
Language, learning, and values. Norwood,
NJ: Ablex.
National Commission on Teaching and
Americas Future. (1996). What matters most:
Teaching for Americas future. New York:
Author.
National Research Council. (1996).
National science education standards.
Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Ruddell, R. B., & Ruddell, M. R. (1994).
Language acquisition and the literacy process.
In R. B. Ruddell, M. R. Ruddell, & H. Singer
(Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of
reading (4th ed.) (pp. 83-104). Newark, DE:
International Reading Association.
Santiago, F. (1996, December 19). Culture
shock: Dont be shy about science study
shows kids. The Miami Herald, pp. B1, B2.
Tough, J. (1986). Talk two: Children using
English as a second language in primary
schools. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Trueba, H. T., & Wright, P. G. (1992). On
ethnographic studies and multicultural education. In M. Saravia-Shore & S. Arvizu (Eds.),
Cross-cultural literacy: Ethnographies of
communication in multiethnic classrooms (pp.
299-338). New York: Garland.

U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. (1996).


Equal educational opportunity project series
(vol. 1). Washington, DC: Author.
Authors
Sandra H. Fradd, is professor and program coordinator in the bilingual, TESOL,
and TEFL programs at the University of
Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, in the United
States.
Okhee Lee is associate professor and program coordinator of the science education
programs at the University of Miami, Coral
Gables, Florida.
Pete Cabrera, Vivian del Rio, Ameliu Leth,
and Rita Morin are 4th-grade teachers at
Kensington Park Elementary School, in Dade
County Public Schools, Miami, Florida.
Marisela Ceballos and Maria Santalla are
4th-grade teachers at Everglades Elementary
School, Dade County Public Schools, Miami,
Florida.
Lucille Cross is a 4th-grade teacher at
West Lab Elementary School, Dade County
Public Schools, Miami, Florida.
Techeline Mathieu is a 4th-grade teacher
at Toussaint LOuverture Elementary School,
Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Florida.

TiPS
from the

CLASSROOM

Teachers are learners, too, so the


classroom for this issue is the learning
environment in which teachers are
immersed as learners. These tips target
pre- and in-service teacher educators as
well as teachers interested in self-development. Teresa Benedetti suggests
Enhancing Teaching and Teacher
Education With Peer Coaching, a type of
developmental collaboration. Through
Peer Conversations for Teacher
Development, Yvonne De Gaetano advocates another means of promoting openness and growth among colleagues. Ruth
Weinstein-McShane reminds us of the
value of Collegial Sharing Through
Poster Sessions. Doris Pez and Laurie
McCarty move teachers outside their own
circle and offer advice on How to Use
Cultural Brokers in Educational Settings.
In The Role of Picture Books, Fabiola
Ehlers-Zavala and Jeffrey P. Bakken help
teachers adapt a widely used technique to
the special needs of students with learning
disabilities.

Enhancing Teaching and Teacher Education


With Peer Coaching
Teresa Benedetti
Veteran and novice teachers alike may
benefit from fruitful collaboration and nonjudgmental feedback, and thus both may
profit from some measure of systematic
coaching. Glatthorn (1987) suggests collaborative professional development as a cover
term for strategies that bring teachers together
to work in peer-oriented systems. Peer coaching, a type of developmental collaboration, is
a process in which two (or more) teachers
meet regularly for problem solving using
planning, observation, feedback, and creative
thinking for the development of a specific
skill (Joyce & Showers, 1980). When peers
engage in such technical, objective discussion, they can begin to discover how they can
best represent subject matter in suitable and
captivating ways and think about content
from the learners perspective.

Types of Peer Coaching


Peer coaching (PC) can be carried out in
three ways according to the needs of the
teachers.

1. Technical coaching asks peers to focus on


helping each other transfer a new skill to
their teaching.
2. Collegial coaching focuses on the refinement of teaching practices. Peers work on
skills already present in their teaching
repertoire with which they believe they
may need help and feedback. For example,
peers may focus on assessment practices
and help each other ensure a match
between these and their instructional practices.
3. Challenge coaching resolves a problematic situation in instruction and begins
with the identification of a persistent problem. For instance, a teacher may find it
difficult to devise her own information gap
activities or be unable to elicit second language output from her students. Peers
work together to discuss the content and
procedural knowledge needed in order to
make these activities work in their classrooms.

It is likely that the actual process of PC


will include a combination of technical, collegial, and challenge coaching.

The Benefits of Peer Coaching


PC has evolved out of the need to offer
companionship, reducing the sense of isolation that teachers tend to feel
objective, technical, nonevaluative feedback as the new teaching skill is practiced
continual emphasis on the application of
the teaching skill that keeps the peers
focused
analysis of students responses to the
teachers implementation
adaptation of the new skill to the needs of
particular groups of students
support during early attempts to use the
new skill
Teachers in established programs or
teacher educators hoping to enhance the level
of developmental cooperation in their training

Autumn 1997

41

TiPS
CLASSROOM

programs may want to


consider setting up a peer
coaching system along the
lines proposed in the next
section.

Procedure
1. Suggest that your colleagues or teachers in
training choose a peer that they trust, one
with whom they believe they will work
well.
2. Because PC is based on classroom observation, make sure that everyone is familiar
with and able to engage in the processes
for clinical supervision, which include
a preobservation conference, setting the
focus for the observation
the classroom observation
the postobservation conference debriefing period
Student teachers will need more guidance
with this process than seasoned teachers.
Supervisors can help them focus by suggesting that they complete the statements:
In my lesson I plan to complete_____.
I would like my peer to focus and provide feedback on my use of______.
3. Remind everyone to prepare for PC by
collecting materials that will aid observation
and
feedback
processes:
notebooks/log books, video-, and audiotapes. Videotaping may aid teachers who
become overwhelmed by the amount of
activity during observations.

4. Because the success of PC on the preservice level depends upon the understanding
and support of cooperating teachers, ask
cooperating teachers to cover one
anothers classes while their colleagues
observe other peers. If scheduling conflicts
occur, suggest that the class with the
scheduling conflict be videotaped so that
peers can view the lesson together later. If
both teach the same content to the similar
classes, combining classes and observing
each others application of skills may
work effectively also.
5. Consider organizing weekly seminars for
peer coaching, as Mello (1984) outlines:
Peers nominate topics for discussion.
Group members ask clarification questions.
The facilitator leads discussion as
members share their experiences or
brainstorm new ideas.
The nominator of the topic will tell
what she thinks will work best in her
situation.
During the next meeting, the group
member provides feedback on how she
applied the advice the group generated.
The potential of PC lies in the effectiveness of bringing professionals together to discuss the art and science of teaching. It
improves traditional and obligatory means of
teacher supervision, which suffer from cooperating teachers untrained for supervision, the
reluctance of some supervisors to reflect with
student teachers on teaching matters, and high
supervisor:student teacher ratios.

As they discuss teaching, peers share pedagogical content knowledge and ways to represent content in order to make it
comprehensible to others (Shulman, 1987).
PC enhances teachers understanding of
teachingand learning.

References
Glatthorn, A. (1987). Cooperative professional development: Peer-centered options for
teacher growth. Educational Leadership, 45,
31-35.
Joyce, B., & Showers, B. (1980).
Improving inservice training: The messages
of research. Educational Leadership, 37, 379385.
Mello, L. (1984). Peer centered coaching:
Teachers helping teachers to improve classroom performance. Idaho Springs, CO:
Associates for Human Development. (ERIC
Document Reproduction No. ED 274 648)
Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and
teaching: Foundations of the new reform.
Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1-21.

Author
Teresa Benedetti is a doctoral candidate
in foreign and second language education at
The Ohio State University, with a special
interest in teacher education. Currently, she
is an adjunct instructor of Spanish and
Supervisor of MEd students involved in foreign and second language teaching internships at Elms College, Chicopee,
Massachusetts, in the United States.

Peer Conversations for Teacher


Development
Yvonne De Gaetano
Teaching can be a lonely profession in
which opportunities for communicating what
goes on in classrooms are often not available.
Despite this, teachers generally welcome the
chance to reflect upon and talk about their
classroom experiences, given the opportunity.
Peer group conversation can offer that opportunity. An adaptation of focus groups, the
peer group conversations strategy is a way to
support teachers in their ongoing development. For the teachers, the groups offer a

42 TESOL JOURNAL

chance to talk about their practices in an


atmosphere of guided facilitation in which
they are free to express themselves. This is
especially important when teachers are trying
to understand and try out approaches new to
them, such as whole language, constructivism, and in-depth multicultural education.
Peer group conversations comprise a gathering of people with similar characteristics
(e.g., teachers) who come together with a moderator to discuss issues relevant to them. The

idea of peer group conversations has grown out


of the techniques used in focus groups, which
are conducted for data gathering research. The
purpose of peer group conversations for teachers is to support their own and their colleagues
growth and development.
In addition, peer group conversations are
free flowing and open ended. They are conducted precisely to determine the participants
opinions and feelings as well as their knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding the topic

at hand. There is no goal to reach consensus


or agreement, and teachers do not need to prepare anything to participate in the groups.

The Necessary Features


Peer group conversation groups have the
following characteristics.
A moderator: The moderator should have
group facilitation skills. She makes every
effort to establish a permissive atmosphere,
one in which the participants are free to say
what they really think about a specific topic
or issue. The moderator can be a staff developer, teacher trainer, or an instructor.
Small size: It is important to keep the
group size to a minimum of 5 and a maximum
of 10 people to encourage participants to
share opinions; this is especially important for
those people who find it hard to speak up in
large group settings.
A stable group of participants: Successful
peer group conversations are those in which a
sense of trust has developed, and participants
speak openly and honestly about their practice. It is a time for them to share their successes and failures and for them to get ideas
from one another. It is therefore important
that the group participants remain the same.
A variety of sites: Often schools or district
offices are not conducive for the openness
needed for good peer group conversations,
but some site possibilities may be offices of

corporations that support education, available


rooms in community-based organizations, the
college classroom, or someones home.
Chairs should be arranged in a circle or
around a small table so that everyone can see
and hear each other. There should be some
kind of refreshments available if possible so
that everyone is comfortable and at ease.
Well-prepared, open-ended questions:
Initially, the moderator prepares two or three
open-ended questions that will spark conversation, for example
What are some problems you have found
when you are using the whole language
approach (or multicultural perspectives)?
How did you deal with these?
What has been your experience in working
with cooperative groups?
What are some of the ways you have
found to help quiet students speak up in
class?
The questions come from the stated interests of the group. A group member may also
begin by posing a problem or issue she may
be facing in the classroom.
Length of sessions: Peer group conversations need be no longer than 2 1/2 hours. If
the sessions degenerate into complaint sessions, the moderator needs to bring the discussions back to the point being explored. A
skillful moderator will gauge when it is time
to stop and will summarize what has been

talked about. The group should choose how


often they want to meet.
In summary, peer group conversations
enable a small group of teachers to talk about
their classroom practices in a safe and supportive atmosphere. The teachers themselves
provide many of the answers to the questions
they are seeking as they articulate them with
one another. Although not always possible, it
is helpful if meetings are followed up with
classroom visits by members of the group or
by the moderator.
Although teachers are often pressed for
time, they will eagerly participate in peer
group conversations if the meetings are structured so that their interests and needs are met.
As teachers have said after peer group conversations:
Today we became inspiredwe got
ideas from each other.
You always feel like you are alone, but
... these meetings put everything back
into perspective.

Author
Yvonne De Gaetano is associate professor
in the department of Curriculum and
Teaching and coordinator of the Bilingual
Extension for the Masters Elementary
Program at Hunter College, City University
of New York.

Collegial Sharing Through Poster Sessions


Ruth Weinstein-McShane
Poster sessions for collegial sharing can be
used in and for a variety of contexts and purposes, such as in faculty lounges and department offices, and at in-service days,
conferences, and conventions. Posters can be
used for general staff and teacher development and as an aid to experienced teachers in
mentoring new colleagues by sharing tried
and true activities, methods, and techniques.
Posters are frequently designed as flow charts
for teacher instruction, which is an effective
format when the information to be conveyed
is linear and highly organized. Other formats
include captioned summaries of classroom
activities with photos of students, copies of
their written work, and possibly illustrations.
This works well as a record of student accomplishments in particular school courses and

can be inspirational for other teachers.


Posters, however, should be more than a
larger surface for the written word or a focal
point for a group or passing audience. They
can serve as attractive visual mnemonics and
inspiration. Because our lives reflect personal
and professional interests and pursuits,
posters benefit from a focus on unusual content. Content-rich, holistic, multi-intelligence
approaches to learning activities in and out of
the classroom lend themselves to large
posters, such as the format displayed at
TESOL conventions. This kind of poster can
display various activities as well as the skills
and intelligences used in acquisition of the
target language, cultural know-how, and the
content in which language and culture are

embedded. Especially when reflecting global


issues, such as the environment, posters can
become memorable, inspirational tools for
teacher development and possibly the impetus
for more collaborative work on materials and
textbook preparation. They are worth the
extra time and work when they contain so
much potential for collegial sharing.

Suggestions
I would like to share a few tips for creating
more visually interesting displays on
content-based language instruction with
examples from a poster session I presented at
the 1997 TESOL Convention in Orlando,
Florida, called Outdoor Recreation and
Forest Ecology.

Autumn 1997

43

TiPS
CLASSROOM

Ways to
Organize Your
Poster

Poster session instructions for the TESOL


convention suggest a very structured
approach organized in the manner of a flow
chart. This style is sometimes necessary, but
sessions on content-based language instruction may merit a looser, more natural
approach.
Try to use keys or symbols other than
arrows or numbers, especially when recording
a group of successful teaching activities or
nonlinear components of a teaching unit.
For example, in guiding the viewer from
one section of my own poster to the next, I
used black deer tracks on a white background.
The tracks also highlighted another section of
the poster on using Total Physical Response
to teach vocabulary, critical thinking, and

process skills through verbs of locomotion,


measurement, and math. A picture of a large
buck and a graphic representation of the distance between tracks linked the visual to a
vocabulary list and examples of word problems.

Techniques for Displaying


Your Resources Visually
If textbook covers, pamphlets, newspapers, other illustrated print materials, and
realia are attractive, use originals or photocopies arranged in colorful collages with the
tasks or language goals captioned in a variety
of printed fonts. I displayed activities using a
collection of field guides with the yellow
cover of Trees of Arkansas and the green
cover of Buffalo River Hiking Trails. The colors reflected those in photographs of hiking
and camping activities and offered a
color-coded organization tool for the poster.

Know Your Tree: A Guided Walk

Ways to Represent Ideas and


Whole Activities
I used photographs and a black and white
graphic of boot and sneaker treads to illustrate
the chorus of a jazz chant I wrote on the theme,
Take Nothing But Photographs, Leave
Nothing But Footprints. This request (authorship unknown) is frequently seen on signs at
state and national parks and nature preserves
throughout the United States. I focused my lesson on the unusual negative structure and
vocabulary and used the jazz chant and photographs as the tools of instruction.
An activity I displayed on my poster was
Know Your Tree: A Blindfolded, Guided
Walk Through Woods, Parks, or Arboretum.
I drew stick figures and cartoon trees to convey the procedure each pair of students would
follow on location after a class session on
adjectival suffixes and vocabulary describing
tree bark (see illustration, left).
I also indicated levels, subject areas, suggestions for adaptation, learning objectives
and styles, time required, and cultural or
physical considerations.
I hope these suggestions will encourage
teachers to use poster sessions as tools for
furthering teacher growth. One need not be an
artist to create posters that convey teaching
ideas and activities in exciting colors and formats. Using student and teacher work may
spur others to emulate your example of collegial sharing.

Author
Ruth Weinstein-McShane taught ESL in
Japan for one year and EFL as a graduate
teaching assistant in an MA in TESL program. A freelance writer and textile artist living in rural Arkansas, she also works as an
adult literacy tutor.

How to Use Cultural Brokers in Educational


Settings
Doris Pez and Laurie McCarty
As the number of students from culturally
and linguistically diverse backgrounds
increases, educators need to play a more
active role in engaging students and their
families in the educational process. One
resource available to teachers to facilitate this
process is that of cultural brokering, espe-

44 TESOL JOURNAL

cially if they themselves lack the background


knowledge or experience with a particular
language or culture. Cultural brokers can provide one or more of the following services
mediation
advocacy

interpretation and translation


educational consulting

Why Teachers Might Want a


Cultural Broker
Teachers for whom the following state-

ments are true may need a broker.


I have a new student from a cultural background different from mine, and I am
unfamiliar with his language and culture.
I have a student in my classroom from a
cultural background different from mine
who is having difficulties.
My students represent various cultures and
languages.
I want to establish a positive working relationship with the parents and families of
my students.
I would like to create and implement culturally relevant instruction.
I am seeking an outside opinion of my curriculum and teaching strategies.
My colleagues and I need information to
help us work with the students, families,
and ethnic communities in the neighborhood.

Functions the Cultural Broker


Might Serve
Before seeking out a cultural broker, the
teacher must ask herself
What are the educational needs (e.g.,
developmental, cognitive, academic,
social, emotional) of the student(s) for
whom I need a cultural broker?
Will I need the broker on an ongoing basis
to provide information, support, and other
services over a long period of time?
Do I need an interpreter (e.g., for assessment of nonnative English speakers, parent conferences, translation of
instructional materials, letters to parents)?

Ways to Find the Right Broker


In order to guard against potential biases,
culturally uncomfortable situations, and conflicts of interests, the teacher should consider
the potential cultural brokers background
(personal and professional), experience (general and education-specific), role in the community, and relationship to the student and
her family. Teachers should seek recommendations for potential cultural brokers from
students and families
community members and international,
national, state or local agencies (e.g., Red
Cross, military, university international
student associations, religious groups, consulates)
school personnel who reside in the area or
have ties to the culture

Using Cultural Brokers


After identifying prospective cultural brokers, the teacher must interview and train the
broker regarding classroom and school or district policies and procedures. In classrooms

Using a Cultural Broker: An Example


A student from Bosnia recently enrolled in a public
school district in the southwest United States. There are no
members of the school district staff or faculty who have
knowledge or experience with this particular cultural group.
The teacher determines that cultural brokers are necessary
for the school to be able to
understand the students educational history and possible
life experiences
explore differences and similarities between the local
school district and the school in Bosnia
communicate with family members
translate instructional materials and school documents
develop appropriate instructional strategies and materials
The teacher contacts several local agencies and the international student association at the local university. The
teacher learns that there are two university students who
recently arrived from Bosnia are currently enrolled. The
teacher makes contact with one of the students and informs
him of her need for a cultural broker. The university student
meets with the teacher and provides background information
about schooling, developmental expectations, parental/family involvement in schooling, and suggestions for instruction.
More importantly, he gives the teacher an understanding of
his own experiences as a new resident of the United States.

where numerous cultures and languages are


represented, the educator may need to use
more than one cultural broker.
When interviewing a prospective cultural
broker, teachers should ask such questions as
How can you assist me in providing appropriate educational experiences and opportunities for these students?
What specific information about _______
can you give me?
How many different services (e.g., interpreter, mediator, advocate) can you perform?
How proficient are you in speaking, reading, and writing [a particular
language/dialect] (i.e., limited, conversational, proficient)?
When identified and used appropriately,
cultural brokers can support teachers and educational professionals in their work with students and families from culturally and
linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Specifically, cultural brokers can assist school
personnel with student conferences,
parent/family conferences, culturally sensitive
instructional practices, and school-community
partnerships, and thus contribute measurably

to teachers continuing professional development.

Authors
Doris Pez is assistant professor in the
Special Education/Communication Disorders
(SPED/CD) Department at New Mexico State
University, in the United States. Her current
responsibilities include teaching undergraduate special education teacher training courses
and graduate-level courses in bilingual special education and diagnostics. The focus of
her academic training, research, and practice
has been offering assessment and intervention
services for culturally and linguistically
diverse students and their families.
Laurie McCarty is assistant professor in
the Exceptional Education Department at
Buffalo State University in New York, in the
United States. She has extensive experience
teaching in the field of bilingual education
and special education in Massachusetts,
Puerto Rico, and New Mexico. The focus of
her academic training and research has been
in the instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional education students.

Autumn 1997

45

TiPS
CLASSROOM

The Role of Picture Books


Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala and Jeffrey P. Bakken

In developing the language and literacy


skills of diverse students with disabilities, picture books constitute a holistic way to confront this educational challenge. Students
with reading disabilities have difficulty with
analytical tasks such as decoding, but the
illustrations in picture books appeal to global
learning styles and support the meaning that
is communicated by the text. Depending on
the relationship between the text and the pictures, pictures can have several functions.
They can
provide the context for the story
direct students attention to what is important in the story line
appeal to the formation of enhanced
imagery during and after reading
enhance affective responses to the text
increase students attention to relevant
information
guide cognitive processes during comprehension
By picture books, we mean a story book,
a fiction book with a dual narrative, in which
both the pictures and the text work interdependently to tell a story (Bishop & Hickman,
1992, p. 2). Their use with diverse learners
with disabilities is crucial. Among the problems these learners need to overcome is their
difficulty in attending to the illustrations and
written text, so instruction is needed to guide
students on the interpretation of both the verbal text and nonverbal images in a picture
book.
The inclusion of picture books, effectively
chosen to suit the learners ages, interests, and
developmental needs, offers many advantages. Picture books:
offer learners authentic literature
offer learners cultural insights into the second culture, their own, and that of their
peers, fostering development of sociolinguistic competence
enhance the learners linguistic competence by promoting the acquisition of new
vocabulary and grammar
constitute excellent sources to promote an
aesthetic response to literature by means
of appealing to their affect and imagery
processes
furnish ground to build upon and with
which to develop other communicative
activities fostering communicative compe-

46 TESOL JOURNAL

tence (see sidebar, right, for a list of books


we have found effective)

Procedure
1. Read the book to yourself before you read
it to your class because prereading allows
you to decide if the story is enjoyable and
the level is appropriate.
2. When you are ready to read in class, make
sure that you position yourself such that
students can see the pictureshold the
book to your side.
3. As you read the book
Show the pictures and use body movements and facial expressions to
enhance the drama of the experience.
This will engage students and allow
them to understand the language and
share emotional, funny, and exciting
moments.
Maintain eye contact with your students, and pay attention to nonverbal
responses to ensure that they comprehend the storyline.
Read the book from beginning to end
without interruptions except on an
as-needed basis.

Follow-up Activities
Picture books are only a window into having fun with language for both students and
teachers. Once you are finished reading the
picture book, you can begin follow-up activities. For instance, depending on the students
backgrounds (ages, language levels, interests,
needs), go back to some of the illustrations: If
they are colored, for example, ask students to
infer what the colors may mean to show how
the art contributes to the line of the story.1
For example, Dr. Seusss The Lorax and John
Giless The First Forest are useful books with
which to carry out this sort of activity because
the art is clearly intertwined with the story
line. By pointing at the illustrations, students
can tell you how they feel when they look at
the bright colors. Colors and shapes will
evoke different feelings and will connect to
the story line.
If you are teaching a unit on nutrition to
students of diverse backgrounds, bring in different books that portray different foods eaten
by their ethnic communities or others and discuss. Have students point at images portrayed
in the book with which they may have some

Useful Picture
Books
Bash, Barbara. (1989). Desert giant.
New York: Little, Brown.
Carle, Eric. (1995). Walter the baker.
New York: Simon & Schuster.
Carle, Eric. (1992). Pancakes,
pancakes. New York: Scholastic.
Cherry, Lynne. (1994). The armadillo
from Amarillo. San Diego, CA:
Harcourt Brace.
Dr. Seuss. (1971). The lorax. New
York: Random House.
Giles, John. (1995). Oh, how I wish I
could read. Stevens Point, WI:
Worzalla.
Giles, John. The first forest. Stevens
Point, WI: Worzalla.
McCloskey, Robert. (1989). Time of
wonder. New York: Puffin.
Ringgold, Faith. (1992). Aunt
Harriets underground railroad in the
sky. New York: Crown.
Scieska, Jon. (1991). The
frog prince. New York: The
Trumpet Club.

familiarity to enhance their linguistic competence and sense of cultural self-identity. This
kind of activity can be very exciting not only
for those who narrate them but also for those
who listen to them.
Illustrations can convey information on
nonverbal communication used by the members of a particular cultural group. Students
are fascinated by similarities and differences
in paralinguistic communication (i.e., signs
used to greet or say goodbye). Also it gives
you, the teacher, the opportunity to teach
them what is appropriate in the second or foreign language with regard to nonverbal
behavior.

In conclusion, picture books offer an


excellent means to develop the language and
literacy skills of diverse students with disabilities. Not only do they enhance the linguistic aspects of language and literacy
development but also they provide learners
with sociocultural instruction about both the
second and first language. At the same time,
they constitute excellent sources to promote
independent reading experiences because the
nonverbal elements work closely with the
verbal cues provided in the stories. Finally,
they offer learners sensory experiences that
stimulate the workings of the brain in its
entirety as both linguistic and nonlinguistic
systems are at work during reading comprehension.
Teachers have to help students develop
their communicative competence in the second language, but they must also guide them
in the development of learning strategies that
will help them cope with their own learning
difficulties in the academic world, where
reading plays a major role.

Note
1

For a discussion of how pictures work,


see M. Bang. (1991). Picture this. Boston:
Bulfinch.

References
Bishop, R. S., & Hickman, J. (1992). Four
or fourteen or forty: Picture books are for
everyone. In S. Benedict & L. Carlisle (Eds.),
Beyond words: Picture books for older readers and writers (pp. l-10). Portsmouth, NH:
Heinemann.

Authors
Fabiola Ehlers-Zavala is a doctoral candidate and instructor in the Department of
English at Illinois State University (ISU), in
the United States. Her area of research is the
influence of nonlinguistic factors, such as
affect and imagery, in the reading comprehension of ESL/EFL readers. She has also
taught EFL classes at the elementary, high
school, and college levels in Chile.
Jeffrey P. Bakken is assistant professor in
the Department of Specialized Educational
Development at Illinois State University, in
the United States. He teaches various courses
on teaching methods and educational assessment. His area of research is reading comprehension of students with disabilities,
specifically, text structure and imagery in
reading.

EVIEWS

For perhaps too many of us in the TESOL


profession, experience preceded education.
We found ourselves in teaching situations for
which we were less than ideally prepared,
and we educated ourselves as best we could
for the teaching tasks at hand, backtracking
later on to acquire more formal career preparation. In our self-development, we used our
peers, our students, the seats of our pants,
and whatever helpful books we could find.
Having acquired an undergraduate degree
in philosophy in 1969 (with all the teaching
preparation that such a major entails ...), I
found myself teaching in a center-city elementary school with a multigrade, multicultural mix of children. Some spoke variations
of African American Vernacular English;
some came from Spanish-speaking PuertoRican backgrounds; some were immigrants
from India, Bangladesh, or Japan; and others
spoke a Western New York so-called standard variety of English.
Two kinds of books became essential
texts for me in surviving a situation that presented so many demands and so much that
was new. Other teachers published writings
about their experiences provided me with
hope and inspiration to continue in the often
frustrating teaching profession; pedagogical
strategies and possibilities to help me survive
the days in the classroom; and philosophical
viewpoints and questions to ask to gain perspective about the nature of good teaching.
The habit of looking to teachers accounts of
their work stuck with me, and I found that I
have often sought out such voices of experience to explore other classrooms that I could
never visit to foster my own development as
a teacher.

48 TESOL JOURNAL

Thirty Years of Becoming a Teacher:


A Readers Rainbow
Mary Lou McCloskey
The second type of source was biographical or autobiographical writings that offered
vicarious cross-cultural experiences and cultural insights. It is the nature of our profession that we work with individuals with very
different backgrounds from our own. We
learn much about their cultures from our students, their families, and colleagues from
other backgrounds, but reading is uniquely
valuable for placing us in new worlds.
Biographical/autobiographical works by
and about individuals from my students cultures shed light on the linguistic, social, and
historical experiences of language learners
and challenged my prejudices and presuppositions about other groups and lands. They
helped me develop as a reflective kidwatcher/listener and as a teacher committed
to conducting a classroom in ways that
respected learners as individuals and as participants in their unique cultures.
I recently set out to revisit some of the
classics that have, during the past three
decades, helped my peers and myself to
develop as teachers. I wanted to explore the
merits of these texts in retrospect: How did
they help over the long haul? And in
prospect: How might they benefit the selfdevelopment of practitioners who more
recently entered the profession? The results
took two forms: First, I interviewed other
professionals, perused my own shelves, and
scoured libraries to develop the resource list
of classics for teacher self-development
included in the sidebar on page 50. I then
selected and reviewed seven volumes that I
felt had powerful import. These follow, in
chronological order.

Teacher
Sylvia Ashton-Warner. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1963. Pp. 191.

I Know Why the Caged


Bird Sings
Maya Angelou. New York: Random
House, 1969. Pp. 289.

Wishes, Lies, and


Dreams
Kenneth Koch. New York: Chelsea
House Publishers, 1970. Pp. x + 309.

White Teacher
Vivian Paley. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1979.
Pp. xvi + 140.

Children of War
Roger Rosenblatt. Garden City, New
York: Doubleday, 1983. Pp. 212.

My Place
Sally Morgan. New York: Little,
Brown, 1987. Pp. 360.

The House on Mango


Street
Sandra Cisneros. New York: Vintage
Books, 1989. Pp. x + 110.

Sylvia Ashton-Warner (Teacher, 1963)


taught infant (5-year-old) classes of mostly
Maori children in New Zealand for 30 years.
She found traditional school readers (John,
come, look! See the boats.) to make no
sense whatsoever to young Maori children
struggling with linguistic and cultural transition. Coming from both the language experience and look-say traditions, she devised a
unique system of organic vocabulary, reading, and writing that centered around words
each child found essential to his or her life:
key words of fear, of love, words like: ghost,
skeleton, haka, (Maori war dance) kiss,
touch, mummy.
Ashton-Warner used childrens organic
language to write texts for her students based
on stories and traditions from their cultures;
she encouraged students to write about their
most vital experiences and then to share their
writing with one another. Ashton-Warner
developed an empowering method that gave
young students previously unable to acquire
literacy successfully purpose and access to
learning. Her insight was that reading should
be motivated by the deepest yearnings for
meaning in the human heart.
Beyond being a teacher, Ashton-Warner
was also a novelist and artist who crafted a
gripping classroom narrative. She gives
teachers evidence of the drama of everyday
classroom life, the depth of feeling in the
hearts of young learners, and the centrality of
the understanding of culture to the learning
of language.
Maya Angelous autobiography of her
childhood and teen years (I Know Why the
Caged Bird Sings,1969) is a story of power
and triumph over troubles, of luminous dignity arising from difficulties. True, she
relates firsthand experiences and consequences of the poverty, racism, abandonment
by her parents and violence from a family
friend. Yet the vibrancy with which she
lived her childhood and the strength and love
she received from the individuals around her:
her brother, Bailey; her grandmother, Mrs.
Annie Henderson; her mother, Vivian
Baxter; and members of the black community of tiny Stamps, Arkansas are the essence
of her story. And how she tells it is totally
involving, filled with vivid images and
indelible characters. The very towns in which
Angelou lived became characters with virtues
and vices of their own. She describes her
home from the age of 13, San Francisco, at
the beginning of World War II: Pride and
Prejudice stalked in tandem the beautiful
hills. Native San Franciscans, possessive of
the city, had to cope with an influx, not of
awed respectful tourists but of raucous, unsophisticated provincials. They were also

forced to live with skin-deep guilt brought on


by the treatment of their former Nisei schoolmates (p. 212).
Angelous story is a gift to teachers of
multicultural classes and of learners of
English: keys to discovering the grace and
energy of language, dignity in the midst of
oppression, and universal truths revealed
through a uniquely black aesthetic.
In the late 1960s, Kenneth Koch, a New
York City poet, playwright and English professor, was a visiting poet and teacher of
poetry in New York City elementary schools.
He was sponsored first by the Academy of
American Poets, later by the Teachers and
Writers Collaborative. The combination of
his delight and wonder in playing with words
and the imagination and freedom of expression he evoked from young writers brought
poetry and learning to life in those schools.
The first 50 pages of Wishes, Lies, and
Dreams (1970) include Kochs narrative on
how he arrived on his inspirational ideas for
teaching poetry and encouraging poets.
Koch, the children, and their teachers came
up with simple but evocative poetic structures such as these:
a class poem for which each student wrote
a line and every line began with I wish
and mentioned a color, a comic book
character, and a place
poems containing only lies
poems with English structure and Spanish
words, or with Spanish structure and
English words
questions to ask a snow person, a needle,
a blackboard, or a flower
The remaining 250 pages of the book are
filled with inspirational, exuberant, zany, and
often touching poems by young writers like
Margarita Cuadrado, who wrote:
People think Im so and so
But I am not so and so
People think Im this
But I am that. (p. 249)
The book offers teachers successful experiences for making poetry real and relevant to
young learners and quality student models of
poetry written as a result of these experiences. In addition, it confirms the importance
of our respect for the language, the medium
of poetry, and for the amazing potential of
young learners.
Why was it Claire who so often influenced me to look at ordinary activities in new
ways? For me the answer was clear:
Teaching children with different cultural and
language experiences kept pushing me
toward the growing edge (p. 118).

Vivian Paleys s reflection about a WestIndian 5-year-old in her kindergarten class


conveys succinctly the nature of the investigation in White Teacher (1979). Through
observations of her students and of being
their teacher, Paleys own prejudices, blind
spots, and shortcomings are challenged. In
growing to meet those challenges, Paley
exemplifies a patient, understanding, caring,
reflective and ever-developing teacher. She
offers a sequence of vignettes that cover
more than 5 years of teaching during which
her all-white class gradually becomes a truly
multicultural, multiracial, multilingual one.
During these years, Paley learns a great
deal about helping children of all backgrounds appreciate themselves. Following
each vignette are her reflections on the
thoughts and the development of the individuals in her class and of herself as a teacher. She
constantly questions and checks herself: contemplating her own Jewish heritage and
upbringing and how it affects how she sees
her students; discussing class events with peer
teachers, black and white; and listening thoroughly to individual students and parents.
Paley, in turn, challenges readers to be
honest with themselves in questioning the
ways they address (or avoid) issues of race
and culture in the classroom. Perhaps her
most ringing message is the value of a
teachers journal: to provide reflection and
perspective; to reveal changes over time; to
help teachers understand, remember and be
able to recreate and share those significant
little details of words and actions by children
and teachersdetails that are everything in a
classroom.
Roger Rosenblatt, as a Time Magazine
journalist, traveled to the war zones of the
world to Belfast, Israel, Lebanon, Cambodia,
and Vietnam. In all of these locations, the
enemies, Rosenblatt observes, are from
similar or identical groups: All the wars,
essentially, are family feuds.
Rosenblatt interviewed children who had
known nothing but war in their lives. He
asked these children, as well as family members, teachers and other professionals who
worked with the children, about what they
were thinking and feeling, about their dreams
for the future. The stories in Children of War
(1983) showed wide diversity in childrens
responses to the war around them, yet some
striking similarities in the strength and hope
children revealed.
Bernadette was a young Catholic girl in
Belfast. Though her sister had recently
been killed by a British plastic bullet in
her head, Bernadette rejected the hatred of
her brothers: I dont like what the IRA

Autumn 1997

49

EVIEWS

are doin. Like shooting people. I dont


support them because I know what death
is like (p. 32).
At 15, as a Palestinian in Lebanon,
Ahmed had led several PLO youth
groups, was being trained as a guerilla
fighter, and was already speaking internationally in support of the PLO. Yet, his
life goal was to be a doctor: He saw himself first not as one who harms, but as a
healer.
In a Thai refugee camp, Rosenblatt spoke
to Ty Kim Seng, a young Khmer who had
lost his father to a firing squad and his
mother to starvation during the Pol Pot

regime. So, asks Rosenblatt, will you


go back to Cambodia one day and fight
the Khmer Rouge? No, replied Ty Kim
Seng. That is not what I mean by
revenge. To me, revenge means that I
must make the most of my life (p. 135).
Works like Rosenblatts help teachers of
children of war to comprehend the devastating experiences their students have had.
Children of war are forever affected by the
violence and hate they have experienced
their tragedies made great demands on their
strength and resiliency.
Yet, Rosenblatt also found, and teachers
must remember, that they are just children,
trying to live their everyday lives with the
gentleness and playfulness and grace of the
young.

Sally Morgan was born in Western


Australia in 1951 only 7 years after the
Australian aborigines were first allowed by
the government of European settlers and conquerors to become Australian citizens. To
protect themselves and their children from
the prejudice and discrimination that faced
aborigines at the time, Morgans family had
buried and forgotten their ancestry and hidden their personal stories. She knew nothing
of her own aborigine ancestry until the age of
15. From the moment of this discovery, she
set out to learn all she could of the family
and cultural history that had been hidden
from her. My Place (1987) is an autobiographical chorus in four vibrant voices.
Morgan first tells the story of her own
childhood, how her heritage was revealed

Further Reading
Anaya, Rudolfo. (1972).
Bless me, Ultima.
Berkeley, CA: TQS
Publications.
Atwell, Nancie. (1987). In the middle: Writing, reading and learning with
adolescents. Portsmouth, NH:
Boynton/Cook.
Brown, Daphne. (1979). Mother tongue
to English: The young child in a multicultural school. New York: Cambridge
University Press.
Calkins, Lucy McCormick. (1986). The
art of teaching writing. Portsmouth,
NH: Heinemann.
De Angulo, Jaime. (1953). Indian tales.
New York: Hill & Wang.
Delpit, L. (1995). Other peoples children: Cultural conflict in the classroom. New York: New Press.
Ellison, Ralph. (1952). Invisible man.
New York: Random House.
Gallimore, R., & Tharpe, R. (1988).
Rousing minds to life: Teaching, learning, and schooling in social context.
Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
Gardner, Howard. (1993). Multiple
intelligences: The theory in practice.
New York: Basic Books.
Glasser, William. (1969). Schools without failure. New York: Harper & Row.
Graves, Donald. (1983). Writing:
Teachers and children at work. Exeter,
NH: Heinemann.

50 TESOL JOURNAL

Griffin, John Howard. (1961). Black


like me. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Hayslip, Le Ly. (1989). When heaven
and earth changed places. New York:
Doubleday.
Heath, Shirley Brice. (1983). Ways with
words: Language, life, and work in
communities and classrooms.
Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.
Holdaway, Donald. (1979). The foundations of literacy. Exeter, NH:
Heinemann.
Holt, John. (1970). What do I do
Monday? New York: Delta.
Kaufman, Bel. (1965). Up the down
staircase. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice Hall.
Kidder, Tracy. (1989). Among
schoolchildren. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin.
Kingston, Maxine Hong. (1976).
Woman warrior. New York: Vintage
Books.
Kohl, Herbert. (1967). 36 children.
New York: New American Library.
Kozol, Jonathan. (1991). Savage
inequalities: Children in Americas
schools. New York: Crown Publishing.
Kozol, Jonathan. (1967). Death at an
early age. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Kuzwayo, Elen. (1985). Call me
woman. Johannesburg: Raven Press.

Lewis, Oscar. (1961). The children of


Sanchez: Autobiography of a Mexican
family. New York: Vintage Books.
Mandela, Nelson. (1994). Long walk to
freedom: The autobiography of Nelson
Mandela. Boston: Little, Brown.
McCracken, Robert A. (1972). Reading
is only the tigers tail. San Rafael, CA:
Leswing Press.
Menchu, Rigoberta. (1984). I,
Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian woman
in Guatemala. London: Verso.
Moffett, James. (1968). Teaching the
universe of discourse. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin.
Papert, Seymour. (1980). Mindstorms:
Children, computers and powerful
ideas. New York: Basic Books.
Paton, Alan. (1948). Cry, the beloved
country: A story of comfort in desolation. New York: Scribner.
Postman, Neil, & Weingartner, Charles.
(1969). Teaching as a subversive activity. New York: Delacorte Press.
Rodriguez, Richard. (1981) Hunger of
memory: The education of Richard
Rodriguez, an autobiography. Boston:
D.R. Godine.
Routman, Regie. (1988). Transitions:
From literature to literacy.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Sheehy, Gail. (1986). Spirit of
survival. New York:
Morrow.

and her subsequent education and research


into her past. She tells how, with family
members, she traveled back to the villages of
aborigine relatives to recognize and rediscover their roots.
Autobiographies of three other family
members follow, all compiled by Morgan
from extensive taped interviews. She first
persuades her great uncle Arthur, who was
Boolyah man, holding a position of wisdom
and power in the aborigine community, to
tell his tale. When Morgan read Arthurs
story aloud to her mother, Gladys is caught in
the powerful web of story making and agrees
to reveal her own history. Because aborigine
mothers of the time were not considered fit to
raise white or mixed-race children, Gladys
was taken from her mother and raised far
away in an orphanage. As a fitting and rich
conclusion to the autobiography, Morgans
grandmother, the always silent and secretive
Nan, is finally convinced to tell the story of

Sociolinguistic knowledge is more than


saying the right thing at the right time: It
encompasses issues such as language variety
within languages due to gender, social,
regional, and race differences, world varieties
of languages, and literacy. In Sociolinguistics
and Language Teaching, Sandra Lee McKay
and Nancy Hornberger offer an overview of
these issues, focusing in particular
on the relationship

her amazing and difficult life.


As well as being the autobiography of a
family, My Place is also a biography of aborigine people, a history of racism and white
supremacy in Australia, and the story of the
restoration provided by the rediscovery of
ones roots and of pride in ones heritage.
Sandra Cisneros, the daughter of a
Mexican father and a Mexican American
mother, tells the story of the coming of age
of Esperanza, a sensitive young chicana who
lives with her family on Chicagos Mango
Street (The House on Mango Street, 1989).
Each of the 45 tiny chapters in the book is a
story unto itself, a finely wrought little poem
disguised as prose only by its arrangement on
the page. Yet, read together, these little
vignettes create a very personal history with
a community of rich characters. The book
reveals truths about growing up, being of two

Sociolinguistics and
Language Teaching
Sandra Lee McKay and Nancy H.
Hornberger, Eds. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Pp. xii + 484.

Jette Gjaldbaek Hansen

between language acquisition and the


social context of language learning.
This introductory book differs from
prior publications on sociolinguistics
in that it specifically addresses preand in-service language teachers
and teachers of linguistically
diverse and multicultural classes.
The book comprises 14 chapters, each detailing a specific
topic in sociolinguistics and
written by an individual(s) who
has done extensive research on
that topic. The contributors
focus on issues relevant to language teachers, and each chapter
concludes
with
implications for the language
classroom, and an annotated
bibliography of suggestions
for further reading. The 14
chapters are arranged in

cultures, the torturous self-awareness of adolescence, the wonders of becoming a woman,


the pain of not speaking English, the agony
of losing and leaving ones homeland, and
the misery of not feeling at home when you
are home. Triumphantly, it reveals the fierce
independence of a young writer committed to
leaving Mango Street so she can come
backthrough telling her stories.

Author
Mary Lou McCloskey, former second vice
president of TESOL, is director of curriculum
and teacher development for Educo, in
Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. She
teaches at Georgia State University and in
area school districts, works with ESOL and
EFL programs on teacher development and
curriculum projects and develops integrated
English language materials for teachers and
students.

four parts, based on different levels of macroand microlinguistic and social analysis.
Part 1, Language and Society, includes a
discussion of World Englishes by Braj B.
Kachru and Cecil L. Nelson, and a discussion
of language planning and policy by Terrence
Wiley. Part 2, Language and Variation,
focuses on such areas of sociolinguistics as
regional and social variation (John R.
Rickford), and language and gender (Rebecca
Freeman and Bonnie McElhinny). Part 3,
Language and Interaction, takes a
microview of social and linguistic analysis
and discusses different types of sociolinguistic analysis. It includes papers by Frederick
Erickson
called
Ethnographic
Microanalysis
and
Interactional
Sociolinguistics by Deborah Schriffin. Part
4, Language and Culture, is the final section of the book (aside from Hornbergers
concluding chapter) and considers social analysis at the microlevel and linguistic analysis
at the macrolevel. Topics in this part include
Andrew Cohens discussion of speech acts
and Sandra McKays discussion of literacy
and literacies.
One strength of the book is that it examines the relevance of sociolinguistics to language teaching beyond its function as a
component of communicative competence.
The book challenges beliefs about such
topics as world Englishes, pidgins and creoles, language and gender, and African
American English Vernacular. It is important
for language teachers to have an understanding of the diversity of language because attitudes toward language varieties may affect
Autumn 1997

51

EVIEWS

what language variety is taught. As two of the


authors state, The study of sociolinguistics ...
has always been grounded in eliminating disadvantage (Freeman & McElhinny, p. 218).
The purpose of the book is therefore not
only to help educators understand diversity,
but also to effect change in attitudes toward
diversity.
Another strength of the book is that most
of the chapters of the book are accessible and
relevant to language teachers as they focus on
issues that teachers may encounter in their
own classrooms, such as African American
Vernacular English, and regional and social

Different approaches can be taken to


preparing students to teach English to speakers of other languages. With more explicit
approaches (often referred to as teacher training), teachers tell their students what and
how to teach. With less explicit ones (teacher
education or development), they offer their
students opportunities to discover effective
teaching principles and practices on their
own. Two texts, Teach English and New
Ways in Teacher Education, illustrate some
of the advantages and disadvantages of the
two approaches.
Teach English is a teacher training course
designed to develop practical skills in teaching English as a foreign language
(Handbook, p. 1). It can be used for in-service or preservice training or as a refresher
course and is aimed primarily at the secondary level. Teach English is designed particularly for teachers who teach in large
classes with few resources, follow a set curriculum, are nonnative speakers of English,
and have little time to prepare lessons.
Teach English contains 24 units, each of
which focuses on a different area of methodology and, according to Doff, provides material for about 4 hours of training. These units
are self-contained and can be used independently of each other, but they overlap to a
certain extent. Most units are devoted primarily to teaching or class management skills,
including language and skills development,
use of aids and materials, and classroom
interaction. Preparation and evaluation skills
are the focus of two units each.
The course is designed to be used by a
trainer working with as many as 30 student
teachers and has two components, a trainers
handbook and a teachers workbook. The

52 TESOL JOURNAL

dialects. However, the chapters in Part 3 of


the book and the first chapter of Part 4 may
not be as helpful in an introductory book as
they focus on the theoretical and methodological aspects of several methods of sociolinguistic research. Readers might find it
difficult to distinguish between ethnographic
microanalysis, interactional sociolinguistics,
intercultural communication, and the ethnography of communication unless they have a
thorough background in sociolinguistic
research.
Nonetheless, this is an important book for
language educators as its discussion of issues
involving the relationship between social context and language acquisition is directed
toward their needs. Insightful and thought-

Teach English: A
Training Course for
Teachers
Adrian Doff. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1988. Pp. ix + 286.
(Trainers Handbook and Teachers
Workbook)

New Ways in
Teacher Education
Donald Freeman with Steve Cornwell,
Eds. Alexandria, VA: TESOL, 1993.
Pp. xxvii + 206.

Timothy Micek
trainers handbook gives detailed, step-bystep instructions for each training session,
allowing the course to be used by trainers
with little experience or preparation. Trainers
may consult the Further Reading section at
the end of each unit for resources with which
to explore topics in greater depth.
The teachers workbook is for use by the
student teachers and contains the activities
discussion, practice and simple workshop
tasksthat make up the practical part of the
course. Each unit contains five or six activities (in the final one, Lesson Preparation, student teachers apply techniques from the
training to their own teaching) and ends with
a self-evaluation, in which these teachers

provoking, this book can be used as a classroom text in language education and sociolinguistic classes, as a reference guide to topics
and research issues in sociolinguistics, and as
a source of research ideas for those interested
in conducting their own language teaching
and sociolinguistic research projects.

Author
Jette Gjaldbaek Hansen is a doctoral student in foreign and second language education at The Ohio State University (OSU), in
the United States. She has taught German and
English in Japan and is currently teaching
ESL in The Spoken English Program at OSU.

reflect on their teaching after the training session. (The trainers handbook neither
describes the lesson preparation nor contains
the self-evaluation of the teachers workbook, so trainers will need both components
of the course.) The workbook also contains
four texts that explain the theory behind the
methodology and ends with summaries of
each unit.
For the most part, training sessions
involve three types of activities: demonstrations, discussions, and pair/group work. At
the beginning of Unit 1, Presenting
Vocabulary, for example, student teachers
discuss ways of presenting new words and
the teacher trainer demonstrates two ways of

doing so. Later in the unit, working in pairs or


groups, student teachers also discuss how best
to present other words.
I have mixed feelings about this text. As a
beginning preparer of ESOL student teachers,
I found it a godsend initially. It gave me more
than enough material with which to structure
my course, covering key areas, such as presenting vocabulary, presenting structures, and
correcting errors. Although little of the material was entirely new to me, I found some of it
made explicit for the first time, and some it
new and essential to productive language
teaching (e.g., the present, practice, and produce sequence suggested in Unit 6,
Practising Structures). After I had taught a
unit or two, however, I was less excited.
First, some of the material is presented so
methodically and thoroughly that it risks boring the class. Second, although Doff claims
that the course reflects the shift from the
teacher- to the learner-centered classroom, the
training sessions revolve very much around
the trainer, who does most of the demonstrations, leads all the discussions (concluding
them by pointing out any major points that
have been missed), and orchestrates pair and
group work. I found myself not only worn out
from leading these sessions but regretting that
my class had practiced so little teaching in
them.
New Ways in Teacher Education (NWTE)
is intended to offer teacher trainers an alternative to the knowledge transmission model of
teacher preparation. According to Freeman,
this alternative emphasizes exploring and
experimenting, taking risks and cooperating,
balancing input with reflection, using existing
knowledge to gain more, and increasing
teachers autonomy.
NWTE consists of 46 activities arranged
alphabetically by the authors last names.
Every activity has the following four parts: a
narrative of the activity in action, step-by-step
procedures for duplicating the activity, a
rationale for the activity, and caveats and
options for performing or adapting the activity. Most activities begin with a brief
overview and end with references and suggestions for additional reading. Some activities
include handouts. Alvino Fantinis YOGA
(Your Objectives, Guidelines, and
Assessment) form, derived from approximately 50 teaching evaluation forms used at
various educational levels, is noteworthy
among these.
The book begins with a users guide in
which the activities are indexed according to
the amount of time they require to complete,
point in teaching career of the student teachers, locationor settingof the class, means
of learning to teach, and underlying purpose
of the activity. These criteria are always clear

from the subheadings but not always from the


headings.
Many of the activities seek to empower
teachers-in-training by having them play an
active role in their training. For example, they
select their own readings, design syllabi, create the text for the course, lead discussions,
articulate and address problems, and evaluate
themselves and others.
Speaking from both experience and observation, I would say that the success of this
approach depends on the audience. Although
practicing teachers and graduate students tend
to benefit from this approach, undergraduate
students often do not: They lack the necessary
theoretical or practical background. Having
undergraduates evaluate their teaching is
especially problematic. For example, when I
have had students practice teaching in class,
some of them have simply read aloud pages
they have photocopied from a textbook and
corrected exercises they have had the class
do; they have shown little imagination, initiative, or creativity. When the class was asked
to evaluate the lesson, they rated it highly and

offered no criticism. In order for


some of these new ways to be successful, then, I suggest that students
be given appropriate models, directions, and criteria for teaching.
Other activities in NWTE rely
less on student teachers abilities
for their success. Several activities address issues that arise in
language teaching training,
including grammatical terminology; approach, design, and procedure; and comparing
inductive with deductive
learning. Other activities
address general pedagogical
issues, including class discussions, teacher questions,
and the relationship
between lesson plans and discipline problems. Other contributors help student teachers experience the cultural and
linguistic adjustments ESL students undergo
by placing restrictions on their speech, corresponding with such students, and changing
their personal appearance.
Like the approaches they take, Teach
English and New Ways in Teacher Education
both have strengths and weaknesses. Teach
English provides teacher trainers and student
teachers alike with an entire course of
explicit, productive methodologies for teaching ESOL but few opportunities for student
teachers to practice their teaching before they
go into the classroom. NWTE allows student
teachers to discover a variety of effective
TESOL principles and practices but, used
alone, may leave inexperienced teachers
underprepared to face the challenges of the
field. Those who prepare ESOL teachers will
want to consider both texts.

Author
Timothy Micek is assistant professor in the
Division of Languages at Ohio Dominican
College in Columbus, Ohio, in the United
States. He teaches ESL, TESOL, humanities,
and related courses.

An Invitation to Reviewers
We welcome your reviews of
recently published ESOL
textbooks, curriculum guides,
computer programs, and videos.

Send your submissions to:


Jill Burton
School of Education
University of South Australia
Underdale Campus
GPO Box 2471
Adelaide, South Australia 5001

Autumn 1997

53

Ask

?
the

TJ

Editors Note: In the Spring 1997 issue,


Len Fox asked TESOL Journal readers for
their views about supporting part-time ESL
practitioners. The responses were wide ranging, and many stipulated anonymity. Others
responded with the caveat that we not print
any of their remarks, even without attribution.
Administrators and part-time workers
alike requested the anonymity or privacy
which certainly indicates the politicized
nature of the topic. Administrators wrote that
the realities of being compassionate to parttime employees while, at the same time, trying to protect the bottom line were difficult
indeed. Part-time employees seemed to fear
either losing their current positions or any
opportunity for future full-time employment
with their current institution if they went on
the record. If there is anything to be gained

54 TESOL JOURNAL

from what many people felt they could not


say publicly, it is that, perhaps, greater lines
of communication must be opened between
those who employ teachers and those who
work part time. The following responses were
received with permission to print.

Dear Mr. Fox and TJ Readers:


Part-time faculty employment is not limited to ESL, and is, in fact, commonplace
throughout institutions of higher education.
According to the American Association of
University Professors (AAUP)(1997), 43%
of all faculty in higher education are parttime. For this reason, it would be myopic to
treat the part-time issue as an ESL problem.
TESOL leadership, in conjunction with its
new TESOL Part-Timers Caucus should join
forces with the rest of the educational establishment to move toward redressing this issue
within public institutions, which seem to be
the biggest culprits.
Organizations that have policy statements
against excessive reliance on part-time faculty include, among others, the AAUP, the
National Adjunct Faculty Guild (NAFG),
National Educational Association (NEA),
Modern Language Association (MLA), as
well as, of course, TESOL.
Some part-time employment may be necessary, such as when enrollment fluctuations
make full-time hiring unreasonable. But parttime hiring should not take place as a costsavings measure and certain conditions
should be corrected: limits on how much a
part-time faculty may work (e.g., no more
than 60% of full-time), pay that is not prorata with full-time, or inadequate work space
or administrative support, for example.
Excessive reliance upon part-time faculty
exploits the individuals so employed and
tends to degrade educational standards.

Reference
American Association of University
Professors. (1997, August). Part-time and
non-tenure-track faculty. Available:
http://www.igc.apc.org/aaup/pttime.html.
Jack Longmate
English Department
Olympic College
Bremerton, Washington USA

Dear Mr. Fox and TJ Readers:


Surely almost everyone is sympathetic to
the plight of part-timers in ESOL. I also think
most people would agree that many parttimers are in a vulnerable position that is not
in keeping with the sort of professional standards we would all like in the field.
However, the situation is not a simple one

and will likely never be resolved. Most intensive English programs in the United States
are self-supporting and entirely dependent on
enrollment to pay for salaries, benefits, and
operating expenses. If a given program is old
enough to have a certain amount of stability
and if that program has a healthy enough
enrollment, it can support a given number of
full-time faculty (i.e., those who work full
time and also have benefits). Even in the
most stable programs, however, there will
likely continue to be part-time only, non-benefits-eligible positions. For the most part, this
is not because administrators wish to exploit
teachers. It happens because enrollment is
unpredictable, and administrators do not
want to find themselves in the position of not
being able to make budget if their enrollment
drops unexpectedly. What complicates the
situation even more is the fact that more and
more universities are turning out graduates
with TESL degrees, but the number of positions (in the United States, anyway) is not
increasing at anywhere near the same rate.
Name Withheld by Request
USA

Dear Mr. Fox and TJ Readers:


I work as a part-time teacher at the
American University in Cairo (Center for
Adult and Continuing Education).We have a
Faculty Affairs Committee to address teachers needs and problems. The most important
concerns that have been raised so far regarding the status of part- time faculty are lack of
medical care insurance, the need for an endof-service award, the desire for access to the
Internet (part-timers have access only to email), and a request for some paid holidays.
Many meetings have been held with the
Division Director, and there has been a lot of
paper work for more than a year without any
good result except for giving vent to the pressure inside each one of us.
Saleh A. Demetry
The American University, Cairo
Egypt

Dear Mr. Fox and TJ Readers:


My concerns about part-time ESL teachers center around the attitudes of U.S. community colleges toward ESL programs. On
the one hand, they treat ESL courses as just
another part of the college, but on the other
hand, the decision-makers do not seem to
consider the special nature of either the type
of course (i.e., language) or the population
that enrolls (adult, poorly educated in their
first language, culturally isolated in the
United States).

This misguided attitude manifests itself in


the push for high enrollments for all
courseswhich is detrimental to any language course and any serious teacher who
wants to offer effective attention to students.
The limitations imposed on a part-time faculty member also demonstrate misdirected
policy, for example limiting access to photocopying or denying support from other campus services (because they are closed when
the part-time teacher and students arrive for
night classes).
Administrators at my institution refuse to
recognize the importance of ESL or even that
it is a legitimate profession. They prefer to
hire teachers who will not give them any trouble, are only in need of supplemental income,
and are not really concerned with education
and learning. In fact, in my program, we have
several retired elementary school, ESL-certified teachers who only teach in Spanish and
are teaching adults for the first time. The
whole system is geared to not giving the parttime teacher any input or voice (and therefore, by extension, the part-time students).
The so-called coordinators are compensated
for doing nothing but paper work to keep the
bureaucracy humming, while the ESL parttimer usually has no office space, no materials (other than limited access to a copy
machine), and no support.
In fact, if a part-timer arrives for a night
class, there is often no opportunity to enter

the department office to get mail, announcements, or even grade/roll sheets. Strong leadership is needed to send a (paid)
representative for ESL part-time teachers to
faculty and district meetings. One possibility
is to create an ombudsperson and to insist on
accountability from the people who are supposed to be supporting and mentoring the
ESL part-time faculty.
I recently had a serious problem with
scheduling an observation and review, but
despite having a legitimate grievance, as a
part-time teacher, I had no one to whom I
could go to affect some kind of change in pol-.
icy. Although my situation is site-specific, I
am sure that the issue it raises is universal for
all part-time teachers.
Change comes slowly, but for a part-time
teacher, what (personal) benefit could come
from insisting on change? Unemployment?
It seems that the system always wins, and
the truly caring part-time teacher loses.
Name Withheld by Request
USA

Stimulates creative thinking and


provides teachers with ways to
incorporate life skills in their teaching;
reproducible sections provide valuable
guidelines for success... a
--Jennifer Singer-Reed,
Coordinator of Adult Literacy Services
Carroll County Public Schools

Some extremely valuable insights and


explanations of cultural differences.. "
-- Amy Southwick, ESOL teacher

Over 200 reproducible pages!

ear TJ Readers:
I have been looking for jobs outside the United
States, and some employment bulletins print ads in
which countries state restrictions on age and gender
in the job description. I would like to know whether
readers think discriminatory job descriptions should
be published and if so, how? (e.g., with or without
censorship? with disclaimers?). I know that we cannot change the practices that occur in other countries,
but need we capitulate to them? Should we allow
discrimination to be advertised in the United States?
Is this contradictory to what U.S. law permits? What
is appropriate?
Robert Bejleri
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona USA

Many topics of vital importance to


immigrants and refugees. Based on
expert advice in areas of education,
money, health, relationships, careers.
Satisfaction in the Land of
Opportunity teaches the personal and
professional strategies necessary for
successful adjustment to life in America.
The author, Raimonda Mikatavage, came
to the U.S. as a refugee, writes an advice
column for newcomers, and speaks on
the importance of teaching living strategies
to ESOL students. Her work has been
applauded with a Governors Citation from
the State of Maryland.

To order this book, send $19.95 plus $2


for shipping within the U.S., $6 for shipping
outside the U.S. For each additional book,
add $1 for shipping. (U.S. dollars). Send to:
Melodija Books
P.O. Box 669
Hampstead, MD 21074 USA
Tel. (410) 374-3117
Fax. (410) 374-3569
E-mail: raimonda@atscom.net
No evaluation or desk copies. This is a
reproducible book for only $19.95!

Autumn 1997 55

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